We already know that the prequel series, set to premiere on Amazon Prime Video, is going to be expensive. When the series was first announced, the company said that the entire five seasons would have a budget of $1 billion.
As astronomical as this amount is, Amazon might have spent so much more. The final bill, it appears, isn't "just" $450 million as initially reported. A more recent report claims that the total cost of the first season is set at $715 million. If we believe the Wall Street Journal, the first season of Rings of Power will easily remain the most expensive TV show made by a mile.
To put this money into context, The Rings of Power will cost $89 million per episode. This is nearly three times the per episode cost of Stranger Things 4 and almost four times what HBO had reportedly spent on each episode of House of the Dragon.
How did Rings of Power get so expensive?
Amazon spent $250 million to acquire the rights to the Lord of Rings from the J.R.R. Tolkien estate. Jeff Bezos, Chairman of Amazon and the second richest man, helped negotiate the rights to the Lord of the Rings. Bezos described the opportunity to make Rings of Power as a "privilege and a responsibility," as he hopes to "do Tolkien's work justice."
It's safe to say that Amazon spared no expense in making the first season as the production cost ballooned to $465 million with an additional $13 million spent to air an ad at this year's Super Bowl Halftime show.
The first two episodes will screen in theaters on August 30 before it comes out on Amazon Prime on September 1. However, the series has already been shown to critics and it looks like the show has passed its first test.
Gizmodo’s Germain Lussier reported that the series “instantly captured my imagination with captivating stories & characters in a Middle Earth that's both familiar & new." Meanwhile, Steven Weintraub from Collider also remarked that the prequel series feels like the Lord of the Rings. Even renowned author Neil Gaiman was impressed with the screening of the first two episodes of the film. He tweeted "I'll watch the whole series when it drops, with enthusiasm."
Really, really fun. I remember buying the Silmarillion as a schoolboy when it was published and it very much not being the prequel I was hoping for. This is the sort of thing I wanted to experience back then. I'll watch the whole series when it drops, with enthusiasm. https://t.co/eEcGJvCOjk
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) August 24, 2022
With the approval of critics from the entertainment industry, it seems like the expense will be well worth it. Fans of Tolkien and the LOTR should be in for a treat.
The series will be streaming on Amazon Prime Video starting September 1 9PM EDT.