A group of architects and structural engineers in England are trying to raise £1.85 billion (that’s $2,884,973,250) to build “a beautiful, inspirational and fully-functioning replica of Peter Jackson's depiction of Minas Tirith, as seen in his Lord of the Rings films.”
The group, led by project manager Jonathan Wilson, say on their Indiegogo page that they’re “fully aware of the scale of our ambition, but we hope you realise just how special this project could be.”
Many will recall that Minas Tirith (Elvish for “Tower of the Guard”) is the capital city of Gondor, and that in Jackson’s Return of the King film it withstood an attack by a large army of Uruk-hai, Orcs, and other forces of Mordor. It looks like this:
The architects hope to replicate the city in Southern England, which has an Orcish population lower than Middle Earth’s. They’re offering a range of rewards, including a follow from their twitter account (£3), a night for two in Minas Tirith (£900 and no questions asked), and Lordship or Ladyship of the city (£100,000).
As of this writing, the project has raised £17,700, less than one percent of its goal. The most a project on Indiegogo has ever raised, as of November of 2014, is $2.85 million.* The most a project has ever raised on Kickstarter is around $20.3 million. The campaign is very clear that funds will only be collected if they meet their full £1.85 billion goal, so go crazy. They have 48 days left to raise the funds.
Anyway, our universe is slowly dying—why not spend billions of dollars on a replica city from Lord of the Rings?
*Update: It's been brought to our attention that as of April 2015, the most funded Indiegogo campaign ever is this one, which raised $12.4 million.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org