New World Mordor: Amazon and New Zealand’s Lord of the Rings deal lays bare the ‘idyllic’ nation's role in global surveillance | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

New World Mordor: Amazon and New Zealand’s Lord of the Rings deal lays bare the ‘idyllic’ nation's role in global surveillance

Amazon’s forthcoming Tolkien production is anticipated to be the priciest TV show ever made, with the retail and streaming giant spending $250 million on the rights alone, plus hundreds of millions more on filming each season.

But there’s no worry of Amazon Studios going bust fulfilling its Middle Earth fantasies, because the New Zealand government is subsidising the series via a special 25% rebate for production costs. As well as being the most expensive TV show in history, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings project will also enjoy what is likely the biggest government cultural subsidy of all time.

Wellington’s Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash celebrated the mega-deal, commenting, “It is estimated that Amazon is spending up to $650 million [NZD] ($465 million USD) in New Zealand for Season One. The [agreement] entitles it to a potential rebate of 25% of this expenditure, or approximately $162.5 million.” Over the lifetime of the show, the New Zealand government could be on the hook to Amazon for hundreds of millions of dollars.

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