Whether it’s The Big Bang Theory cast members taking home a million an episode each, or Game of Thrones shelling out $15 million an episode on a season everyone hated, Hollywood always deals with more money than the average person can fathom. 

But Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series is expensive, even for Hollywood.

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Amazon will spend something like $465 million… just for the first season of the show. 

That sails way past early reports that Amazon was spending $500 million… on multiple seasons.

In comparison, HBO’s Game of Thrones cost something like $100 million to produce per season.

New Zealand outlet Stuff originally reported the cost under the New Zealand government’s Official Information Act. They also confirmed the studio’s plan to film five seasons in the country, in addition to a possible spinoff series. (Amazon Studios declined to comment.)

“What I can tell you is Amazon is going to spend about $650 million in season one alone,” Stuart Nash, the country’s Minister for Economic Development and Tourism, told Morning Report. “This is fantastic, it really is … this will be the largest television series ever made.”

Even New Zealand Feels “Yikes” About The Spending

With how much Amazon is spending on Lord of the Rings, they’re expecting a pretty significant tax rebate from New Zealand.The studio’s spending will trigger a rebate of around $114 million. 

That’s proving a bit controversial within New Zealand itself, as the government could end up on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize the fantasy series. In fact, the New Zealand Treasury labeled the show a “significant fiscal risk” because there are no caps in place to dictate how much Amazon can spend (and therefore, how much the government would have to assist). Others hope the increased tourism revenue encouraged by the series will offset the costs.

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series is currently in production, with plans to debut later this year.

Until then, check back to THS for more updates.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter