The Lord of the Rings franchise is one unlike any other. It was a showcase in filmmaking mastery that successfully made its source material a perfect fit for the big screen, while taking home the most prestigious prizes in cinema. The stars of the franchise made a fortune, and they’ve maintained successful careers ever since.
This year, the franchise hit the small screen with The Rings of Power, the most expensive show ever made. It’s off to a hot start, but a former Lord of the Rings recently actor spoke out against the series.
Let’s hear what he had to say!
The ‘Lord Of The Rings’ Film Franchise Is A Juggernaut
With nearly $3 billion of box office revenue, 4 Academy Awards, and a legacy surpassing most of its contemporaries, the Lord of the Rings film franchise remains a glowing achievement in Hollywood.
The original trilogy took the 2000s by storm, and its aged considerably well. This is a stark contrast to other major film franchises, which tend to age like milk.
Following the success of the trilogy, director Peter Jackson once again took fans to Middle-earth with the Hobbit films. Though not as good or as loved as the trilogy, those Hobbit films also made nearly $3 billion at the box office. They did not, however, take home any Oscars, despite being nominated for 7 of them.
After two major film trilogies, the franchise made the bold decision to head to television this year, debuting the most expensive TV show in history.
‘The Rings Of Power’ Was A Resounding TV Success
The Rings of Power was one of 2022’s most anticipated shows, and its gargantuan budget generated plenty of chatter before the show debuted a single episode.
CBC stated that, “Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, a noted Tolkien fan, had his company acquire the rights to Lord of the Rings‘ appendices for a reported $250 million,” and that “the first season of a five-season run costing an estimated $465 million US (subsequent seasons, though still wildly expensive, could require slightly reduced budgets as producers will be able to use existing construction and costumes), Rings of Power may conservatively cost the studio in excess of $1 billion.”
So, what does that type of money buy a studio? A massive fantasy show with an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes, and one that “hit the Nielsen top 10 every week since the show’s premiere on September 2,” according to FanSided.
Season one set up a lot of plot to move forward with, and you’d better believe that fans are already champing at the bit to get back to Middle-earth for more adventures with these intriguing characters.
The show’s freshman season was a colossal success, but not everyone enjoyed the show. In fact, a recent quote from one of the franchise’s previous performers sent shock waves around the web.
King Theoden Actor, Bernard Hill, Had Some Unkind Words For The New Show
Actor Bernard Hill, who played King Theoden in the original trilogy, spoke with Metro recently, and when asked about watching the show, he was less than kind.
“No, not interested,” he said.
That’s not too bad, but the actor didn’t stop there.
“It’s a money-making venture and I’m not interested in watching that or being in it. Good luck to them and all that stuff but it’s not like the real thing,” Hill continued.
On one hand, he’s not wrong. Amazon spent a fortune on the rights to the show, as well, as its production, to make a ton of money. That said, his comments regarding the show were still surprising to some.
During that same interview, Hill also dished on the Hobbit films, which caught plenty of flack years ago.
“I think they were pushing it when they made The Hobbit. The Hobbit’s a tiny book. They did it well – they did it really, really well. They expanded it [but] I think you can only stretch a piece of elastic so far. I think they managed it in The Hobbit because there were some really good things in The Hobbit without a doubt,” he said.
Hill might not be supportive of the series, but other franchise actors have been vocal with their support, something that undoubtedly helped the show gain some steam during its inaugural season.
Given the monumental success of season one, The Rings of Power appears to be heading towards long and successful run on Amazon.