Tuesday, February 12, 2008

There and Back Again...or Not

The AP announced today that the Tolkien Trust and HarperCollins are suing New Line over the Lord of the Rings trilogy movies that were released in 2001, 2002, 2003. The Tolkien Trust was only paid $62,500 instead of the contracted 7.5% of gross revenue. If my trusty calculator works properly, 7.5% of $6 billion (worldwide gross revenue) is roughly $450 million. The Tolkein Trust's suit is for $150 million, an unlisted amount in punitive damages and the termination of any rights that New Line may have over Tolkien works.

The Tolkien Trust is a registered charity organization in the United Kingdom established by the Tolkien estate. They have given nearly $8 million to charitable causes in the past five years. Up to this point they have tried to settle the conflict out of court to no avail. A successful court battle will certainly put a lot of food on hobbitses' plates around the UK.

A side effect of the lawsuit is that it might put an end to the production of The Hobbit, which was slated to be filmed in 2010. It's a pity that fans of the book and Peter Jackson's silver screen adaptations will lose out as well. I wonder if New Line will be pulling the Hobbit announcement off their home page?

Read the AP article >

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