Kiwis Beat The Picts To The Precious

Amazon’s new Lord Of The Rings television series will be made in New Zealand after the South Pacific nation saw off competition from Scotland.

The uncertainty of Brexit is being touted as one of the underlying factors of the Scottish snub. In the same week, Scotland watched their louder, noisier English neighbours seal a 10-year deal with Disney, and the deal put down as “good news story” for the “UK”, but now it just sounds like some rogue English deal with the Scots being left high and dry once more.

Anyway, the deal with Amazon is a significant win for New Zealand’s screen industry, whose revenues fell 8 percent to NZ$3.3bn ($2.1bn) in 2018 compared with a year earlier.

Online entertainment news site Deadline reported Amazon paid up to $250m to acquire rights to the Lord Of The Rings prequel series while Hollywood Reporter has speculated the series would cost $1bn to produce.

Annabelle Sheehan, chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission, said Amazon’s decision was a testament to the skills, capability, and reputation of the nation’s screen industry:

“It will capture the hearts and imaginations of fans worldwide and expand connections to New Zealand via Amazon Studios’ significant global audience,”

The series will be based on the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, and Amazon said it would explore new storylines that precede The Fellowship Of The Ring.

Map of Middle Earth

The show won’t be connected with the New Line Cinema movies, although Peter Jackson has said he’d be interested in helping out. The Lord Of The Rings movie trilogy and The Hobbit movie trilogy combined grossed nearly $6 billion at the box office.

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