Amazon Boss Talks Lord Of The Rings TV Show's Huge Season One Budget

Jennifer Salke says the big budget makes for a good headline, but it doesn't tell the whole story.


Amazon is reportedly spending $465 million to produce the first season of its Lord of the Rings TV show, making it one of the most expensive TV shows in history. Even if the figure is not that high, as some have suggested, Amazon is undoubtedly paying a lot of money to produce the show. Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke has now spoken about the huge price tag, saying--perhaps jokingly to an extent--that the show needs to attract "a lot" of viewers for the investment to be worth it.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter (via Collider), Salke said the entertainment market these days is "crazy." She cited Netflix's recent move to pay $469 million for the two Knives Out sequels as an example of this. For Amazon's Lord of the Rings show, Salke said Amazon's investment covers a "full season of a huge world-building show," which incurs a major cost.

Salke said the $465 million budget for The Lord of the Rings season one makes for a good headline for people to latch onto, but she reminded people that this money is being spent to "sustain the whole series."

"The number is a sexy headline or a crazy headline that's fun to click on, but that is really building the infrastructure of what will sustain the whole series," she said.

Salke remarked that "it is a crazy world" out there for executives looking to sign projects as it relates to their cost, and The Lord of the Rings is no different. She said The Lord of the Rings needs to draw a major audience on Amazon, and she's confident that it'll work out.

"There's a lot of wooing and we have to make decisions on where we want to stretch and where we want to draw the line. As for how many people need to watch Lord of the Rings? A lot. (Laughs.) A giant, global audience needs to show up to it as appointment television, and we are pretty confident that that will happen," she said.

Amazon is said to have paid $250 million just for the rights to make The Lord of the Rings TV show, and Jeff Bezos--a fan of high fantasy--was reportedly directly involved in the negotiations. The show is currently filming in New Zealand, and the local government is giving Amazon a rebate of more than $100 million to film there.

Amazon's Lord of the Rings show is set in the Second Age, but we still don't know anything about the story or characters. To date, Amazon has not released any footage for the show, nor do we know when it's scheduled to release. It will be on Amazon Prime.

In other Lord of the Rings news, Amazon recently canceled its Lord of the Rings MMO due in part to a reported contract dispute.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are no comments about this story