London, 13 April 2012: HarperCollinsPublishers has acquired exclusive worldwide publishing rights from Warner Bros. Consumer Products for tie-in books to the two highly anticipated films The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, directed by Peter Jackson and productions of New Line Cinema and MGM.
“Inspired by the two films based on The Hobbit, the HarperCollins companion books are a fantastic way for fans of the world of Middle-earth to immerse themselves in the film experience,” said Karen McTier, Executive Vice President of Domestic Licensing and Worldwide Marketing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “HarperCollins has a strong history with the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and we know that the detailed tie-in books will bring The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again to life in an in-depth and imaginative way.”
Victoria Barnsley, CEO and Publisher of HarperCollins UK and International, said, “The books by J.R.R. Tolkien are exceptional in their quality and their popularity, as are the films that they have inspired, and The Hobbit is the story that started it all three-quarters of a century ago. I am a huge admirer of the legacy of these stories and my own arrival at HarperCollins coincided with the work on The Lord of the Rings tie-ins, so I am especially excited to be returning to this unique publishing phenomenon.”
The Hobbit, first published by George Allen & Unwin in 1937, has been a perennial bestseller since starting life with a very modest 1,500-copy print run. Since then, it has gone on to sell many millions of copies in more than 50 languages, and in this 75th anniversary year of its publication, is set to captivate another generation of readers. HarperCollins acquired the publishing rights to The Hobbit and its sequel The Lord of the Rings when it bought Unwin Hyman publishers in 1990, revitalizing the books’ sales and steering their publishing and book licensing through the unprecedented heights of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in 2001-2003.
Chris Smith, Editorial Director for Tolkien at HarperCollins, said, “We are delighted to have been able to pull together many of the same experts to work on these books, as well as new talents to update the publishing mix.”
Author, biographer and broadcaster Brian Sibley, who recently won the BBC Audio Drama Award for his dramatization of The History of Titus Groan, has returned to New Zealand to write the behind-the-scenes Official Movie Guides, while novelist and former Tolkien editor Jane Johnson is writing essential Visual Companions to introduce filmgoers to the remarkable world of the two films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Bestselling New Zealand author and photographer Ian Brodie is writing the Location Guide which highlights the spectacular locations in New Zealand that have provided the settings for the films. In addition, HarperCollins will be breaking new ground with a range of children’s books in the form of annuals, movie storybooks and feature titles, as well as a new series of lavish hardbacks written and designed by the award-winning team at Weta, who are working closely with the production team to guarantee that these books will be bursting with insider information and stunning visual imagery.
David Brawn, Publisher of Estates at HarperCollins, said, “We are thrilled to be working again on film tie-in publishing for what we know will be a pair of remarkable films. The Lord of the Rings books sold 25 million copies worldwide during the films and I know we are in for similar levels of excitement with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. At the heart of all this is the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, which will be available in a range of print and digital formats to suit fans of all ages. I have no doubt that these films will leave filmgoers wanting to read or re-read The Hobbit and be enchanted by the phenomenal storytelling of one of the world’s most popular and inventive authors.”
Exclusive licensed publishers of the books by J.R.R. Tolkien outside the UK include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (USA), HarperCollins (USA), Klett-Cotta (German), Bourgois and Livre de Poche (French), Minotauro (Spanish), Bompiani (Italian), Norstedts (Swedish), Tiden Norsk Forlag (Norwegian), De Boekerij (Dutch), Europa America in Portugal and Martins Fontes in Brazil (Portuguese), Hyoronsha (Japanese), WSOY (Finnish), and Gyldendal (Danish).
Laura Mell, HarperFiction
HarperCollins UK publishes a wide range of books, from cutting-edge contemporary fiction, to block-busting thrillers, from fantasy literature and children’s stories to enduring classics. It also publishes a great selection of non-fiction titles, including history, celebrity memoirs, biographies, popular science, dictionaries, maps, reference titles and education books, and its digital business is thriving. With nearly 200 years of history HarperCollins publishes some of the world’s foremost authors, from Nobel prize winners to worldwide bestsellers. In addition it publishes the works of Agatha Christie, J.R.R. Tolkien and CS Lewis. It was the first major UK trade publisher to go carbon neutral in December 2007.
HC UK and International is responsible for the UK and Ireland, India, Australia and New Zealand and is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading English-language book publishers in the world, with operations in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia. HarperCollins Publishers is a wholly-owned division of News Corporation, the diversified global media company.
About The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of two films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit. The second film will be The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Both films are set in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released beginning December 14, 2012. The second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is slated for release the following year, beginning December 13, 2013.
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins. Also reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” movies are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The ensemble cast also includes (in alphabetical order) Richard Armitage, John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Barry Humphries, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Evangeline Lilly, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, and Aidan Turner.
The screenplays for both The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson. Jackson is also producing the films, together with Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Ken Kamins, Toby Emmerich and Zane Weiner, with Boyens serving as co-producer.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM.
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
About Middle-earth Enterprises
The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises is the holder of worldwide motion picture, legitimate stage, merchandising, and other rights in the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. SZC has been producing and licensing films, stage productions and merchandise based on the Tolkien works for more than 30 years. Its headquarters are located in Berkeley, California and its Middle-earth Enterprises’ website may be found at www.middleearth.com.
© New Line Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and the names of the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc.
© New Line Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN and the names of the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc.
© 2011 New Line Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the names of the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc.