A lengthy profile piece in THR today goes into the making of Amazon Studios’ “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” series.
The company reportedly paid roughly $700 million for the first season, which includes more than $200 million for the rights agreement with the Tolkien Estate.
That is why some have wondered as to the reason relative unknowns Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne were hired as showrunners as opposed to someone with more experience with large-scale productions. It turns out it was partly because so many other pitches were uninspired.
HBO pitched a plan to adapt the original trilogy as a more faithful TV series. Netflix wanted a whole series of connected shows featuring key characters (ie. a Gandalf show, an Aragon show).
When the rights ended up at Amazon, Oscar-nominated writer Anthony McCarten pitched a Shakespearean take, while the Russo Brothers wanted to do an Aragorn-centric version of the Third Age.
Payne and McKay offered a complete five-season plan to adapt The Second Age, which ultimately became the winning pitch. Filming on the show’s second season has begun and is expected to go faster in the post-pandemic era as well as cost considerably less.
Two more episodes of the first season remain, with the second last episode set to air Friday.