By now it has become so customary to see the words "New Line" and "Lord of the Rings" and "lawsuit" together that I almost didn't even bother looking into this story. But then I noticed that it could affect the making of those two Hobbitmovies we're all so excited about. Yes, that's right, there's a chance those movies are in jeopardy again, thanks to the folks running the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien. According to the Associated Press, this latest suit was filed Monday by The Tolkien Trust, a British charity that manages Tolkien's estate, and HarperCollins, the publishing company that originally put out the Lord of the Rings books.

The main claim is that New Line has failed to pay The Tolkien Trust and other plaintiffs a promised 7.5% of the Lord of the Rings trilogy's gross receipts. The amount asked for in the case, however, is only $150 million, which (correct me if I'm wrong) seems to me to be a mere 2.5% of the reported $6 billion the films have earned worldwide. The plaintiffs also seek unspecified punitive charges and the right to terminate New Line's rights to make those Hobbit movies being executive produced by LOTR director Peter Jackson. An attorney for the Tolkien estate mentioned that The Tolkien Trust does not "file lawsuits lightly" and has tried its hardest to settle the matter out of court. So, it looks like this will be a serious, long-going battle. And just when we thought everyone involved in these films was happy and ready to move on. We'll have to wait and see if we get those "prequels", at the helm of Guillermo Del Toro or anyone else, in 2010 and 2011 after all.
categories Cinematical