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Is anyone worried about.... competition? (a baseless conspiracy theory)


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Okay I don't much go in for conspiracy theories but we know Amazon is developing WoT and they are developing a LoTR series. Part of me wonders if Amazon is hedging their bets and will wait to see which series performs best with audiences and continue with the more successful one while cancelling the runner up. I don't have any evidence of this but we know both shows are costing a ton of money so it seems obvious there is a lot of pressure on them to perform well neither can afford to be niche. Personally I am looking forward to both shows but I am worried one will end up overshadowing the other and if one does significantly better how long the other will last?

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51 minutes ago, SingleMort said:

Part of me wonders if Amazon is hedging their bets and will wait to see which series performs best with audiences and continue with the more successful one while cancelling the runner up.

Oh, they're definitely doing that.
 

Except, LoTR is played out. Most of us were just done with it after they split the Hobbit into 3 parts. (They could have done it in 2!)
 

IMHO, the new LoTR series will last one season, and is meant to bring in Fantasy Fans who recognize the name, and then redirects them towards WoT, which will probably be close to airing Season 2 by the time the LOTR season has finished next year.

(And if by some unfortunate turn of events, Rafe absolutely failed, and WoT Tanks harder than a bad Nick Cage movie, they can just renew LoTR for a 2nd season, as if that was the plan the whole time)

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They are very different animals, despite being in the same genre.

 

WoT is a complete work with over 4 million words of text. The showrunners will have to pick and choose what fits and what doesn't; how to condense stories; how to portray well-established characters, events, and places; and which plot elements to highlight.

 

The LotR showrunners, on the other hand, are working with essentially undeveloped outlines of events that lack established characters. They essentially are creating things out of whole cloth that they will structure against the backdrop of Tolkein's historical footnotes. 

 

Each series will stand or fall on its own. And while they will likely be compared to one another (and inevitably to Game of Thrones), there's plenty of space and a large enough fanbase for both to thrive.

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1 hour ago, SinisterDeath said:

IMHO, the new LoTR series will last one season, and is meant to bring in Fantasy Fans who recognize the name, and then redirects them towards WoT, which will probably be close to airing Season 2 by the time the LOTR season has finished next year.

I see you haven't read a lot of news about the LOTR series.

 

The LOTR rights cost Amazon $250 million before any money was spent on production. They renewed it for a second season in 2019 before any filming occurred and they gave them a five season commitment (estimated to be budgeted at $1 billion total).

 

If anything Amazon has shown they expect LOTR to be their big fantasy series and WOT to be their smaller fantasy series more targeted at certain demographics, which I suspect is the reason the marketing is playing up the women in power part of the story and Egwene is being given a fair bit of attention.

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I don't think the amount they spend is indicative of whether or not they FEEL that LotR is their big show and WoT is the smaller. They may feel that but the cost isn't based solely on feelings.

 

Since 1977 the Tolkien estate has invested far more in their property. Two animated films (Hobbit and LotR). Two Film series (Hobbit and LotR). A long running and well received MMO. They have attracted a massive global fanbase and any acquisition of their rights would be staggeringly expensive.

 

The WoT property has seen more books and has indeed become a completed series. However it has one old video game to its name. A dismal rights holding midnight special. And a couple of tabletops. Its a smaller less known property - and I know as a lover of it it does pain me to say that but the rights have been squandered worse than EA's rights to Star Wars Video Games up until recently. It was always going to cost far less to aquire.

 

And as far as production investment LotR would always have to be bigger budget. It has to go up against the Jackson films in the hearts and minds of many. How can they retell the story that has been already so well told? It isnt like DUNE where each attempt has failed (The best still being the 1984 version. And yes thats early feelings about even the most recent crack at it...tho this one is intended to have a second part but it kind of just...ended. And it ended in a weird place which made me feel blah about it. Visually grand tho)

 

Edited by CaddySedai
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9 minutes ago, JaimAybara said:

Because they didn’t have to spend as much on the property couldn’t this be a silver lining? As in, they saved money on the property and could have reinvested into production? Considering LotR already had a massive presence.  

 

I mean they COULD. But budgets aren't a fixed thing. Like I have X dollars per series so if I blow Y on the Rights I'll have less to spend.

 

Honestly, since WoT is the unknown property in terms of audience interaction I feel like we will have the budget we have and it will only increase or decrease based on performance.

 

WE have more to prove.

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34 minutes ago, CaddySedai said:

And as far as production investment LotR would always have to be bigger budget. It has to go up against the Jackson films in the hearts and minds of many. How can they retell the story that has been already so well told?

I thought that the TV-series will be hundreds of years before the films.

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13 minutes ago, DaddyFinn said:

I thought that the TV-series will be hundreds of years before the films.

 

It IS. But the comparisons will be there. Fans will expect the look and feel to be the same or better than Jackson's films. And its still LotR so there will have to be tie ins. Like "oh..so thats how it got to be the thing that I remember in the movie/book"

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Well, the one official image of Tirion-on-Tuna and the Two Trees that they released for the Second Age/Numenor show is in a different league than anything from WoT so far.

 

WoT *could* have equaled or even dare I say surpassed that show if it had nailed the books and tone ... but let's not be disingenuous and sing the praises of what we have seen so far over Tolkien, esp with what both camps have so far shown.

 

Is there room for that to change? Sure, but if you trust trends ...

 

 

I am sure most everyone on here has seen this already unless you live under a rock, I'd even trade this to be the Tar Valon look any day.

 

two-trees-of-valinor-lord-of-the-rings-1

Edited by redgiant
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2 hours ago, CaddySedai said:

I don't think the amount they spend is indicative of whether or not they FEEL that LotR is their big show and WoT is the smaller. They may feel that but the cost isn't based solely on feelings.

They spent $250 million for the rights to make LOTR and they got nothing tangible for it. There is no precedent for doing something like that, there's nothing even close to it. Consider that it was already the most expensive show ever made before they had anything to show for it.

 

Then they gave it a second season before they'd even begun filming and agreed to a five season commitment with a budget rivaled only by the planned Avatar sequels.

 

Plus they've gone out of their way to hype it up. A release date a year in advance and marketing for it at the same time when Amazon almost never markets their projects more than two months before they start.

 

Compare that to WOT which has received the standard Amazon treatment with a somewhat halfhearted marketing approach.

 

I think it's rather obvious which project Amazon feels is its cornerstone and which is one is just another project for them.

Edited by AusLeviathan
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49 minutes ago, redgiant said:

Well, the one official image of Tirion-on-Tuna and the Two Trees that they released for the Second Age/Numenor show is in a different league than anything from WoT so far.

 

WoT *could* have equaled or even dare I say surpassed that show if it had nailed the books and tone ... but let's not be disingenuous and sing the praises of what we have seen so far over Tolkien, esp with what both camps have so far shown.

 

Is there room for that to change? Sure, but if you trust trends ...

 

 

I am sure most everyone on here has seen this already unless you live under a rock, I'd even trade this to be the Tar Valon look any day.

 

two-trees-of-valinor-lord-of-the-rings-1

I have not seen that and I don't know why that should be something amazing. The shots from WoT look better IMO.

 

Tbh I don't care that much about LotR. Original trilogy was and still is good.

Edited by DaddyFinn
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52 minutes ago, AusLeviathan said:

They spent $250 million for the rights to make LOTR and they got nothing tangible for it.

 

I think I get your drift here, but actually the rights to what amounts to some of his books that no one ever thought we could touch for filming is a very tangible thing unto itself.

 

The successive surprises with that show, each more unheard of than the previous one, are a Middle Earth fan's dream:

 

1. Speculation that "oh, maybe it will be Young Aragorn or early Third Age"

2. Then the slow map reveal, completely to lore in even minute details, that started getting people wondering how far back in time were going with it.

3. THEN the final map (and final verse of "One ring to rule them all..." showing the Isle of Numenor which just put fandom through the roof in a good way.

4. THEN as unheard of as the Second Age is (since its Numenor and other map signs, and Amazon finally stated such), THEN they pull out that image I just posted.

5. Beyond expectations, they are showing not First Age, but Year of the Trees. This is like having a perfect Collam Daan shot in the Age of Legends, and knowing they will be utterly faithful to the established lore and look all the way through Rhuidean's Forward and Back sequence.

6. Obviously the show is NOT about the First Age, but the mere fact that they have the rights to show even that image is crazy. Something no one ever thought they would see on film. if they can show that even just in a prologue-style intro in episodes 1-2, they could show almost anything (War of Wrath?).

7. And FINALLY, that person in the image? No it's not Galadriel which most people assumed. It is Finrod Felagund! Another thing thought impossible was seeing *any* of the "F" characters from The Silmarillion. God, if they actually show Feanor or Finwe or any of the Valar, or Morgoth since he was Sauron's boss and Auron/Anatar is known to be a main character in the show.

 

Brilliant marketing from them, they have so far stoked the fires of every fan on the planet. Also trepidation (is it too good to be true?) but that's par for the course.

So that is tangible imo.

Edited by redgiant
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They're definitely committed to LOTR. They already announced five seasons. If that doesn't actually happen, it's going to look terrible. WoT is a different story, but I don't buy that they're being tentative or cautious with it. If it really bombs and is terrible, it might get the axe to reboot with new showrunners, but I don't think it needs to be a huge commercial success. I mentioned in another thread Prime Studio's past tendency to allow niche properties to thrive. Exception were pointed out, but I do think the wave of cancellations they had in 2018 was related to the change in studio executive leadership and a pivot away from short form comedy to more serious long-term fare. And personal babies of Jeff Bezos are another story entirely. They upped the budget for The Expanse a ton compared to what it was on SyFy, and it hasn't really been that successful (tremendously loved by critics and fans, but it's not very popular), yet it has stuck around. Bezos kept it around almost entirely because he's a personal fan and it's a play for prestige, wanting Prime Video to be taken as seriously as HBO as a studio.

 

So as long as it's actually good and Bezos enjoys it, I think it sticks even if it's losing a bunch of money. I get the quips about money printing, but that's kind of what Amazon is. It's in a much different situation than any other studio. Look at this stock price history: https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/AMZN/amazon/stock-price-history

 

That isn't driven by subscribers buying Prime to watch streaming drama. Prime has other drivers, like one-day and same-day delivery of almost anything, Whole Foods and Fresh integration. Getting a streaming service on top of that is just icing on the cake. And most of their money comes from AWS selling cloud services anyway, not from Prime. If that made Bezos rich enough to literally shoot for the moon and probably lose billions doing it just so he say he sent stuff into space, it made him rich enough to finance some passion projects in television that may not make any money.

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I personally have no desire to watch  the LoTR show - don't know why as this is usually right up my alley.  I will probably end up checking it out at least.  It has to be better than Squid Game...

Edited by DojoToad
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21 hours ago, AusLeviathan said:

I see you haven't read a lot of news about the LOTR series.

 

The LOTR rights cost Amazon $250 million before any money was spent on production. They renewed it for a second season in 2019 before any filming occurred and they gave them a five season commitment (estimated to be budgeted at $1 billion total).

 

If anything Amazon has shown they expect LOTR to be their big fantasy series and WOT to be their smaller fantasy series more targeted at certain demographics, which I suspect is the reason the marketing is playing up the women in power part of the story and Egwene is being given a fair bit of attention.

Regardless.

If Amazon has the rights, that means OTHER companies don't. 😉 

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No not worried.  If WOT has enough viewers it will get renewed.  

 

Just like Disney Plus has marvel shows and star wars shows I am not too worried when Amazon is trying to have 2 flagship fantasy shows.  Bezos is all about conquering as many markets as possible 

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