It was a big deal when Game of Thrones got a 15 percent budget increase, all the way up to $8 million, for the action-heavy season two episode “Blackwater.” Meanwhile, every episode in the final season cost approximately $15 million. That’s where a lot of shows start these days, including The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series for Disney+, and Apple TV+’s See, an “epic, world-building drama set in the future” starring Jason “My Man” Momoa.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Disney has built intergalactic-desert landscapes for the Star Wars spinoff The Mandalorian, whose cost for an episode approaches $15 million, according to people familiar with the matter… In the case of Apple’s See, the cost has neared $15 million for each roughly 60-minute episode, according to a person familiar with the matter. That is more than the cost of a typical independent feature film.
To give some perspective, $15 million was the budget for Slumdog Millionaire, while a full season (assuming it’s eight episodes long) equals one Skyscraper or Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Money well spent, in both cases. The rising costs (it used to be shocking when Terra Nova cost $4 million/episode) are due to “massive casts, exotic filming locations, and copious special effects,” according to the Wall Street Journal, as well as “high-profile shows [being] offered up next to theatrical films available to stream on the same service, so original programming can’t risk looking like B-material next to the movies.” Considering the movies that have come out this summer, that won’t be an issue. See premieres on Apple TV+ later this year.
(Via Wall Street Journal)