Skip to comments.Legal settlement clears way for "Hobbit" movie
Posted on 09/08/2009 8:54:23 PM PDT by icwhatudo
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Hollywood studio behind a film based on "The Hobbit" and trustees for author J.R.R. Tolkien's estate said on Tuesday they had settled a lawsuit that clears the way for what is expected to be a blockbuster movie based on the book.
"The Hobbit" is a 1937 book by Tolkien about a diminutive character named Bilbo Baggins who goes on a treasure-seeking adventure, and it sets the stage for Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, with its epic tale of magic and warfare.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Good news, but I’m still waiting for my 10-hour Silmarillion epic.
You can run but you can’t hide.
Damn. I thought work had already started on the film.
It has-this settlement keeps it from stopping.
<Im still waiting for my 10-hour Silmarillion epic.
I love Tolkein, but you’ll be waiting a long time for the Silmarillion! Maybe someone will do a quick 5-hour YouTube version. : )
10 hours would not do The Silmarillion justice...but I would save my final opinion until after I saw it...
Don’t threaten me or I’m pulling out the “It’s a Small World After All” video!!!
< BEG >
Article says the Tolkien estate intervened directly to bock the film and filed for $150M against New Line for the previous ‘Rings movies.
This is interesting. Because I thought J.R.R. Tolkien had sold the rights for the films a long time ago and that any rights were held by Saul Zaentz.
I’m happy for the Tolkien’s, since I would like to see them receive something for all the attention their late father’s work has received. I hesitate to use the term “deserve” or “owed” since, if the rights were sold, they aren’t owed or deserve anythingit would just be nice to see them get something!
Christopher Tolkien has done a lot of work to keep his father’s writing alive by transcribing from his father’s tremendous library of notes and publishing the many volumes of the History of Middle-Earth. And he’s no young man. In his eighties, I think! I think he and the surviving Tokien’s have probably done alright by this work alone, but it would be something again if they can get in on some of the action of the films.
Would love to hear how the settlement, if anything, went for them. But I guess that’s sealed.
The road goes ever ever on.
Aintitcool.com says that the settlement was around $220 million divided (not evenly) between the Tolkien estate and Harper Collins.
To quote from ainitcools take on the settlement, “This was always going to be the end of this particular snag, it was more about finding that number that all parties could live with.”
Wow! I wouldn’t have guessed it would be that much! And in a world (heh, heh!) where Hollywood does everything it can to show that films _lose_ money, the trilogy itself must have made a staggering amount.
Do you still have the ring ping list?
At least one of these stories needs to be a Ring Ping!
The reason for the suit is that the Tolkien Estate claimed that New Line shorted them on the royalties for TLOTR, a very old Hollywood practice. Usually these suits are unsuccessful, but the clearance of rights to the Hobbit was vital to New Line.
The current status of the film is that Jackson has completed the film ‘treatment’ and is working on the first draft of the shooting script. Sets, e.g. Hobbiton, are being refurbished, shooting locations are being picked out. Gandalf, Gollum, and Elrond will be performed by the same actors, other casting is not accomplished. A nasty rumor about Tom Cruise getting Bilbo has apparently been quashed. Filming will start early in 2010, midsummer in New Zealand.
What haz it got in itz pocketsez?
Do you know where was Saul Zaentz (Tolkien Enterprises) during the lawsuit? What his involvement or non-involvement may have been?
At findlaw-dot-com, there is a 22 page article about the Estate’s case against New Line. Going over the first page of the article, it appears that Tolkien sold the movie rights for a sum plus 7.5% of any “gross” revenues made from any films. The Estate basically charges New Line with withholding on the royalties owed to them.
That answers a couple question for me. New Line used “Hollywood accounting” to short the folks it owed money to. Even though the films made $6B. The Estate did some math and sued. And even though Saul Zaentz (Tolkien Enterprises) owns the rights to the films, New Line came in under his agreement made with Tolkien/his Estate to pay the him/theEstate revenues from any films.
I thought Zaentz sold all of his rights to New Line, presumably including a percentage of the profit. Anyone who gets a percentage of the Net Profits will usually not see a penny, if it is a percentage of the gross profits, cheating is more complicated.
I searched Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and Zaul Saentz on Wikipedia. That lead me to the findlaw_dot_com article. My understanding is that Tolkien Enterprises and the Tolkien Estate are both receiving royalties from the films from New Line. The Estate called New Line out on what they were due and that led to the settlement. Peter Jackson and his production company, and I think Tolkien Enterprises, also received settlements from New Line in earlier suits.
I pulled the audio from that and play it in the car for the kids. They love it and sing along!
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