The realm of television is reaching the stars as far as quality and talent are concerned with big-name properties taking over the entertainment landscape. The price tag for these productions is now the newest precedent in the industry with the likes of Netflix and Disney pushing production costs to the level of modern films. The Boys, WandaVision, and more accurately Game of Thrones have ushered in the age of expensive seasons with tons of CGI to flood the small screen. The most spent one a season was pushing toward the triple digits but now a new contender is coming to shoot well past that milestone set by Game of Thrones years prior. Amazon, being the titan that it is, will now house one of the most expensive television shows ever made based on one of the most beloved franchises in modern times The Lord of the Rings.
The much anticipated Lord of the Rings Prime-exclusive show is breaking records well before a release date is pegged. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon’s ambitious prequel series will cost $465 million on the first season alone which in and of itself is a record-breaker. Game of Thrones by comparison only reached that cost for an entire season by its 6th season. Amazon and the by extension the New Zealand government stated that the show will cost approximately $1 billion to produce between two seasons completely trumping any show currently in development. Producers of the upcoming series are already naming it the next Game of Thrones craze as a possible 5 season deal is being made should this first season gain traction only adding more money to the mix however that’s not the only step Amazon is taking from its competitor.
In 2017, Amazon had already spent 250 million on acquiring the rights to the franchise and since then details have been intentionally sparse. What is known is that the show will take place a whole millennium before the events of both film trilogies. An airtight writers’ room was formed not too long after the show’s announcement. An ensemble cast has been formed with Eddard Stark himself Robert Aramayo leading the trope while being joined by Morfydd Clark, Joseph Mawle, and Markella Kavenagh. The filming continues in New Zealand since February of last year though it is still unclear whether production of this first season is beginning to wrap.
Regardless, Amazon Studios has still penned a 2021 release for its streaming platform. With the collaboration of Amazon, Harper Collins, and of course the Tolkien Estate, this Lord of the Rings project seems to be a delight to longtime fans of the series since the conclusion of The Hobbit trilogy back in 2014. I for one am giddy with excitement that the same amount of resources used in the films is translating to the small screen with flying colors. Hopefully sometime not too far away we can all experience the world of man, orc, elven, and dwarven doing battle across Middle-Earth soon this year.
The Witcher Netflix series has become quite a phenomenon in recent memory. Fans of the game and book series as well as those who gush over medieval fantasy absolutely lauded the first season. The show perfectly captured the essence of the characters and world while satisfying the masses that just came off the absolute dud of a finale from Game of Thrones. With a promised seven seasons for the show comes news on castings for characters both unknown and very familiar to fans that toss coins to all Witcher content.
The second season, according to Redanian Intelligence, has cast relatively unknown actor Edward Rowe in the role of King Henselt, ruler of Kaedwen. Fans of The Witcher game series will recognize the name from a major player from CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. In the game, Henselt is a prideful king with a taste for watching duels, warmongering, and hedonism. The player assuming the role of Geralt of Rivia has the choice of ending the king while on his literal high horse or manipulate him until the events of the next game however the show has something more in store for this tyrannical monarch.
In the past, Laura S. Hissrich the showrunner has clarified that the entirety of the show takes place before the events of the first Witcher game. The series will then explore Henselt’s origin story relating to the heroic trio of Geralt, Yennifer, and Ciri before becoming the boisterous king many gamers chose to execute. Perhaps he earns kingship while interacting with Geralt or he’ll possibly arrange for Geralt to fight in a duel against a neighboring kingdom leading him down a path toward eventual tyranny. The possibilities for the directions of the show can go just about anywhere and it just seems to spell excitement every step of the way until release.
After a slew of production halts from Covid-19 outbreaks to on-set injuries, it’s nice to finally have some good news about everyone’s new favorite fantasy epic. As usual fans and newcomers can rejoice at the effort put forth to ensure the most enthralling and bloody tales from Nilfgaard. The best content from a sprawling franchise like The Witcher comes from creators who are just as big of fans as the readers or gamers of the series. The inclusion of fan-favorite characters should spark piquing interest in the other parts of media the franchise inhabits as well as clarity on the denizens that live in the witching world. Should any production halts cease at once you can toss a coin to your favorite witcher on August 17th, 2021.
On December third, the Game of Thrones twitter page released an official teaser for its prequel, House of the Dragon, that will be going into production in 2021, and we couldn't be more fired up! But could this concept art also offer some secrets about the Targaryen series to come?