Home Jeff Bezos the successful whim of Jeff Bezos at 1 billion

the successful whim of Jeff Bezos at 1 billion

the successful whim of Jeff Bezos at 1 billion

That day, Jeff Bezos clenched his little fists and stomped hard on the carpet in his Seattle office: “ I want my Game Of Thrones ! It’s early 2017 and the bald mogul is sick of seeing that Prime – his video-on-demand service launched eleven years prior – pales in comparison to Netflix and HBO. He too dreams of emblematic and unifying fictions. He even gives the manual to his teams. In his biography Jeff Bezos, the crazy rise of the founder of Amazon (Editions Talent, 2021), Brad Stone details them: “ A hero who grows and evolves; an irresistible villain; superpowers; moral choices; suspense at the end of each episode; a threat to humanity. The screenwriters not being the height of his genius, the boss ends up setting his sights on a book which already brings together all these ingredients: The Lord of the Rings by a certain JRR Tolkien.

The rights to the series adaptation of the cult trilogy were purchased for $250 million in the fall of 2017. Rather than redo the trick of Peter Jackson’s films, the screenwriters decided to tell in five seasons of ten episodes each what s happened during the Second Age of Middle-earth. That is several millennia before the main plot of the Lord of the Rings. Appearing in appendices, poems and stories punctuate the novels. These story arcs tell of the forging of the rings, the rise of Sauron, the epic tale of Númenor, and the last alliance of Elves and Men. Obviously, this is all for insiders only and the challenge is to make this material accessible, sexy and smart. For this, Prime Video recruits the showrunners J.-D. Payne and Patrick McKay, two novices who only distinguished themselves in the writing of the film Star Trek: Without Limits in 2016. Amazon invests the colossal sum of 200 million dollars per season, or a billion in total. For comparison, the eighth season of Game Of Thrones cost 90.

Show flat

Megalomania of the big boss, huge budget pushing the flashy to please him, showrunners inexperienced and docile not to contradict it: to be honest, we did not give much of this Tolkienesque project. Megaculpa maxima, the first two episodes of Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power are almost a complete success. The imperatives of marketing and the paranoia inherent in the platforms and studios did not allow us to see more of it, but it is hard to imagine this beautiful building suddenly swaying in large widths.

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Including very little action, the first episode (like a model apartment) is entirely devoted to visiting the rooms built at such great expense. A map regularly allows us to identify this trip to Middle-earth. On the road: the Mist Mountains inhabited by the Dwarves; Lindon, the capital of the elves of Galadriel; the Anduin valleys of the Piévelus; the Isle of the Kings of Númenor… Announcing the awakening of Sauron and Evil, the second segment yields more to action without sacrificing any drama. All this is readable and very accomplished plastically.

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Obviously, the digital effects take the lion’s share too much, but the hard sets have their place, while the New Zealand and British landscapes are easily recognizable. As is often the case lately (House of the Dragons, Sandman…) the capital is American but the excellent and unknown cast comes from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries. There is a simple reason for this: Tolkien’s style uses typically British linguistic registers that are not easily accessible to the diction of ordinary US actors. This is the other good surprise of the program: beautifully crafted, dialogues and direction of actors respect the prose of the author and certain scenes seem straight out of King Lear. A shame for Tolkien who claimed not to like Shakespeare.

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Perched on this gondola head, Prime Video will multiply these next few ambitious projects carried out with Neil Gaiman (Anansi Boys) or with Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, producers ofWestworld. Last Sunday, the platform boasted by announcing 25 million spectators in more than 240 countries the day of the launch of the Lord, September 2nd. Filming for the second season will start in October. Jeff Bezos will finally stop torturing his carpet.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”. One episode per week on Prime Video.