It was called the most expensive series in the world but Amazon, producer of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”, estimated that the budget of one billion dollars was “a good deal”, at the world premiere Monday night in Los Angeles with CEO Jeff Bezos in attendance.
The series, which will be launched on September 2 on the Amazon platform, is considered to be a personal obsession of Mr. Bezos, the multi-billionaire founder of the online shopping site which started streaming.
The ambitious adaptation of the universe created by JRR Tolkien in his novels began when Amazon Prime bought the rights for $250 million about five years ago.
The series is planning five seasons, each lasting ten hours.
Jeff Bezos joined the show’s stars and producers Monday night at Culver Studios in Los Angeles, where the first two episodes screened before a grand light show featuring dozens of illuminated drones.
Producer Lindsey Weber felt the billion-dollar budget was “a very catchy headline that people like to talk about” but she promised that the spectators would see “that the money is really on screen”.
The staggering cost of the series is explained by “the construction of five seasons”she told AFP from the red carpet.
“If you look at what it costs to make a feature film, by comparison, it’s a really good deal”she added, referring to mega-budget blockbusters from Hollywood’s most prestigious studios.
“The Rings of Power” take place 4,000 years before the trilogy of films made by Peter Jackson and the original books, in a “Second Age”, a fictional historical period of the universe invented by Tolkien and about which he delivered relatively few details.
The cast of the series is relatively unknown globally.
Morfydd Clark and Robert Aramayo play much-rejuvenated versions of Galadriel and Elrond, characters already familiar to fans of the movies. “Lord of the Rings”. “It’s an epic adventure story, with universal themes, and it’s a real labor of love — we all worked very, very hard on it, and I hope people enjoy it,” commented Robert Aramayo at the Monday premiere.