The Lord of the Rings series are being adapted into a television show and the production could end up costing Amazon $1 billion when all is said and done.
After fighting Netflix for the rights of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, Amazon won the rights to one of the most recognizable works of fiction for $250 million. After Amazon won the rights, it was guaranteed that the show would receive a five-season commitment.
Publisher Harper Collins and New Line Cinema made sure that Amazon would have to produce the television series within the next two years, according to the terms of the agreement. The original estimate for production was $500 million. Recent details have emerged however and according to the Hollywood Reporter, the production for the television series would end up costing Amazon $1 billion.
Greenberg Glusker, attorney of Matt Galsor, who served as the chief architect of the Tolkien estate, hammered out terms that include a potential spinoff of the upcoming television series. “This is the most complicated deal I’ve ever seen,” Galsor says, “but it was handled relatively quickly, in a way that brought the parties together in a close relationship. It was tough, but everybody liked each other and felt like a team more as the deal closed.”
Dan Scharf, Amazon’s head of television business affairs may have made things easier on the television giant. New Line and parent Warner Bros., even though they never had the rights to the Lord of the Rings series, are granting Amazon access to the footage from the original films to help with production.
The rights to Tolkien’s famous book series have had a long and complicated history to them. Since the author sold the rights of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to United Artists in 1969, they have passed from MGM, producer Saul Zaentz and Miramax, before New Line released Peter Jackson’s six iconic adaptations that started in 2001. His films ended up making $5.85 billion worldwide at the box office.
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