Amazon is going all-out for its original series, but that money has to come from somewhere. The company confirms its Prime membership costs will rise 20% next month, and it may just have to do with all those expensive new TV offerings like Lord of the Rings.
We knew Amazon would pay a pretty penny to develop its own Lord of the Rings TV series, but they might as well raid Smaug’s lair. New estimates put the TV iteration of Middle Earth at $500 million (to start!), and all before Amazon has even assigned talent to the project.
We knew Amazon was likely to drop a few series in its quest for universal hits, but this is a bloodbath. Not only have Jill Soloway’s I Love Dick and Tig Notaro’s One Mississippi been given the axe, but not even Jean-Claude Van Damme could kick it away.
Amazon spent ungodly amounts of money for a Lord of the Rings TV series, and they’ve barely sketched it out. The prequel drama likely wouldn’t connect to Peter Jackson’s films, but Sir Ian McKellen says Amazon has another thing coming if they recast Gandalf.
Amazon has undergone significant changes in recent months with regard to its TV department. Not only is the company aiming for broader, Lord of the Rings-size hits under a new studio head, but Amazon may drop its signature pilot process of letting viewers pick new series.