US-based streaming giant Amazon announced Wednesday its big-budget “Lord of the Rings” series will within months start filming in New Zealand, home to Peter Jackson’s movies of the fantasy epic.
Amazon is reportedly spending US$1 billion-plus on the series as it seeks to emulate the runaway success enjoyed by “Games of Thrones”.
Showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay said the South Pacific nation offered the “primordial beauty” of Middle Earth, the setting for J.R.R. Tolkien’s tales of elves, dwarf and hobbits.
Amazon Studios’ Lord of the Ring series will be filmed in the lush green forests of none other than New Zealand. The streaming platform announced today that production on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months. Few details have been revealed about the high-budget project, other than the events it depicts will likely take place during the Second Age, long before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings novels.
It has already made a multi-season commitment to the series, which will explore storylines set long before the events depicted in Jackson’s films.The Kiwi director’s Rings trilogy and the equally popular, but less critically acclaimed three-parter “The Hobbit”, sparked a tourism boom in New Zealand.
Millions of visitors have flocked to locations used in the movies, helping tourism overtake dairy exports as the country’s biggest earner.
And the series cost a lot of silver coin, or whatever the monetary unit is in pre-LOTR Middle-earth. Back in 2017 when news of the show broke, Deadline reported that Amazon reportedly paid close to $250 million for the rights, making it the most expensive TV series ever. That doesn’t, of course, include the money it’ll cost to hire the actors and crew and actually make the sure-to-be-pricey show. The Hollywood Reporter speculates that the whole shebang could cost more than $1 billion.