After battling it out with Netflix, Amazon beat out the popular streaming service for the global television rights to adapt J.R.R Tolkien’s hit fantasy series Lord of the Rings. They dropped a whopping $200 million just for those rights, making it one of the most expensive television series to ever be made.
While the expenses may be high, this could be a game changer for Amazon. Netflix has beat out every other streaming service with their ‘Netflix and chill’ stigma and it was the first of its kind in giving it a leg up. But Amazon is hoping that this will be the show to rule them all and help bring the competition.
Clearly Netflix puts priority on their content, with their spend at around $6 million just for 2017, so Amazon outbidding Netflix on this shows just how important this series will be. Shows like Stranger Things have shown the quality Netflix originals can have and the fact that they wanted the LOTR rights will definitely prove if Amazon has what it takes to compete.
Although Amazon does not release its viewership stats, the data shows that those who subscribe to other streaming services almost always have a Netflix subscription. Where as those who have Netflix, don’t necessarily choose to subscribe to other accounts.
This means that more than half of those who subscribe to Hulu also have Netflix, but only 17% of those who have Netflix also have Hulu. It’s no surprise that Netflix is the highest contender but this puts pressure on the other services to keep up.
Lord of the Rings already has a great following from the books to the movies. It won’t take much to get viewers, especially with all the hype surrounding this bidding war in the first place. Production for a series like this will likely cost another $100 million and for good reason; they need to live up to the Tolkien name if they’re going to be successful with this endeavor.
The series will not be set in the time of the fellowship, but pre-LOTR, likely before the hobbit or in-between the two. We’ve seen other series create similar story arcs, like Gotham, which surrounds young Bruce Wayne but not Batman. Whether it will include Frodo or any Baggins is still unknown, but we do know there will be multiple seasons.
Reading about the Lord of the Rings TV show like pic.twitter.com/gNPEzRXcrs
— Lucy James (@lucyjamesgames) November 13, 2017
Can Amazon push through the market and actually produce a successful original series? Of course we know that’s the goal, but with Transparent being it’s only well known show, we don’t have much to go by.
The fantasy realm has high standards, especially when it comes to works of Tolkien, so Amazon better be ready for cheers or pitch forks.