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Hobbit On Hold

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  • Hobbit On Hold

    The Tolkien Trust has sued New Line over alleged lack of profit participation in the "Lord of the Rings" movies. They also want the right to terminate New Line from further Tolkien works, i.e. The Hobbit. Source Zap2It News.

    In what may prove to be hold-up for the long-awaited adaptation of "The Hobbit," the Tolkien Trust has sued New Line over alleged lack of profit participation in the "Lord of the Rings" movies.

    The Tolkien Trust, a British charity managing the estate of the "Rings" author, is requesting more than $150 million in compensatory and punitive damages, plus the right to terminate any further rights New Line may have to the Tolkien works under the agreements. That would mean "The Hobbit," which was expected to be shot as back-to-back films, possibly directed by Guillermo Del Toro.

    "The Tolkien trustees do not file lawsuits lightly, and have tried unsuccessfully to resolve their claims out of court. But in this case, New Line has left them no option at all," says Steven Maier, the Trust's UK-based attorney in a statement. "New Line has not paid the plaintiffs even one penny of its contractual share of gross receipts despite the billions of dollars of gross revenue generated by these wildly successful motion pictures. To make matters worse, to date New Line has even prevented the plaintiffs from auditing the last two films of the series. The trustees are very aggrieved by New Line's arrogance."

    The trustees explain that arrogance simply: The cumulative worldwide gross receipts for the three films in the "Lord of the Rings" franchise delivered nearly $6 billion in worldwide receipts and the Tolkien estate claims not to have received even a sliver of the pie.

    "New Line has brought new meaning to the phrase 'creative accounting,'" says the Trust's domestic attorney Bonnie Eskenazi, who filed the suit on Monday (Feb. 11) in Los Angeles Superior Court. "I cannot imagine how on earth New Line will argue to a jury that these films could gross literally billions of dollars, and yet the creator's heirs, who are entitled to a share of gross receipts, don't get a penny."

    "The Hobbit" was only able to move forward into pre-production after Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson settled a 2005 law suit against New Line claiming he'd been stiffed on profit participation.

    Previously, producer Saul Zaentz, former Tolkien properties rights holder, had sued New Line twice over -- you guessed it -- allegedly improper profit participation.

    New Line offered no comment to the industry trade papers.

  • #2
    Re: Hobbit On Hold

    Well, I mean, they need to get paid. If it wasn't for Tolkien, New Line probably wouldn't be around right now.

    Let us not forget, before LOTR, the studio was pretty much going bankrupt.

    This may be a blessing in disguise though. If it's delayed, perhaps Jackson will direct instead of just write/produce.


    • #3
      Re: Hobbit On Hold

      Good Lord! They finally kiss and make up with Jackson so that this can get going and now this? I'm seriously doubting that this is ever going to actually be made.

      And really, is New Line looking like the biggest pack of A-holes or what? First they get into a very public pissing match with Peter Jackson because they didn't make good on promises to him after the Rings films, which made them billions, and now they basically do the same thing to Tolkien's estate. They went right past biting the hands that fed them to completely gnawing them off, spitting them out and trampling them. Who would do business with them now?


      • #4
        Re: Hobbit On Hold

        It's pretty obvious that New Line are a bunch of crooks. Their history speaks for itself.

        I'm anxious for Peter Jackson to get on with The Hobbit movies, but if he has to wait a year or ten while New Line gets their thieving ***** sued, I'm ok with that.


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