Archive for the ‘Tolkien Estate’ Category
Warner Bros. is going after the estate of author J.R.R. Tolkien hard in litigation over online slot machines and games tied to the lucrative Lord of the Rings and Hobbit properties.
In November, the Tolkien estate and and its book publisher HarperCollins filed an $80 million lawsuit that claimed that Rings/Hobbit producers including Warner Bros. had infringed the copyright in the books and breached a contract by overstepping their rights.
Rings/Hobbit rightsholder Saul Zaentz Co. already made their own counterclaim that the Tolkien estate has breached an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by going down this road. (more…)
Posted in The Hobbit, Tolkien Estate, Warner Bros.
For readers of The Hobbit, which became an almost overnight classic following its 1937 debut, the new movie may elicit some puzzlement. Seemingly extraneous flourishes clog up what many remember as a simple fairy tale, and random characters appear at every twist and turn throughout Middle Earth.
Yet those fans who went on to immerse themselves in J.R.R. Tolkien’s wider lore will find inspiration. For the most part, director Peter Jackson does not exercise an extra heaping of artistic license. Rather, Jackson—reportedly something of a nerd himself—borrows from the larger Tolkien literature to create a rich Hobbit tableau.
“Jackson knows the lore pretty well and wanted to bring that larger material in there wherever he could,” said Michael Drout, an English professor at Wheaton College who founded the academic journal Tolkien Studies and edited the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. It’s this so-called textuality—or texts behind texts behind other texts—that lends Tolkien’s work the air of reality, he said, and which Jackson seeks to capture in his films.
Jackson isn’t free to tap into any detail he wants from Tolkien’s wider works, however. “He had a very difficult task in that the movie rights extend only to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings,” said John Rateliff, an independent Tolkien scholar and author of The History of the Hobbit. “He’s well aware that there’s a great deal more material set in that world, but contractually not allowed to use that material in the movies.”
Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate
Unconfirmed rumours are circulating that Universal is talking with Tolkien Estate about creating a Middle-earth theme park. The rumours emerged on New Year’s day on the Orlando United forum where a user reported claims that Universal Studios asked Warner Bros. to raise the topic with Tolkien Estate. At this point, it is unclear whether the user has insider knowledge, or is simply reporting what others have said.
From the source post:
“…here is how I heard that it played out. Universal asked Warner Bros. to approach the Tolkien family since the Tolkien’s trust WB with the success of the LOTR series. WB described how Universal was willing to work with JK Rowling and how the 2 of them (WB and JK) held Universal’s feet to the fire to uphold Rowling’s vision of the IP. And I believe that the Tolkien’s may have actually talked to JK Rowling. This was before Universal said a word to the Tolkien’s. So after WB stoked the fire, Universal entered the picture with an impressive plan.
As of now there is a lot of hammering out to go, but Universal has gotten a lot farther than Disney ever did.”
Tolkien aficionados would recall, of course, that the professor had a notoriously low estimation of the creative works of Walt Disney. Letter #13 in Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien makes his position clear:
“It might be advisable [...] to let the Americans do what seems good to them — as long as it was possible [...] to veto anything from or influenced by the Disney studios (for all whose works I have a heartfelt loathing).”
That’s not to say that Universal would fare any better with Tolkien Estate in any quest to create a Middle-earth theme park. The Estate is well-known to be wary of merchandising, and is currently engaged in a legal stoush with Warner Bros. and Saul Zaentz, alleging that the companies are merchandising beyond what was contractually agreed upon in the 1969 rights deal.
Micechat, a site that specialises in theme park news, claims Universal “is very close to acquiring the rights to develop and produce attractions based on the successful Lord of the Rings franchise of films”. So we might see whether there’s anything to this rumour quite soon.
Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Merchandise, Rumours Spy News, Tolkien Estate
You may have read recently that the Tolkien Estate has brought a lawsuit against Warner Bros., regarding Warner Bros.’ marketing rights for Lord of the Rings and Hobbit products. Our friend Erik Wecks has written a great piece for Geek Dad at Wired.com, clarifying some of the issues at stake and suggesting why the Tolkien Estate may have felt the need to take such action. For fans of Tolkien’s work, just how far is too far – when does a franchise become a sell out? Check out the excellent article here.
Posted in Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Production, Studios, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Warner Bros.
Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins are suing The Saul Zaentz Company and Warner Bros. Tolkien Estate alleges that the companies are merchandising beyond the bounds of what was agreed in the 1969 deal with the studio and rights holder Saul Zeantz.
“The original contracting parties thus contemplated a limited grant of the right to sell consumer products of the type regularly merchandised at the time (such as figurines, tableware, stationery items, clothing and the like). They did not include any grant of exploitations such as electronic or digital rights, rights in media yet to be devised or other intangibles such as rights in services,” says the 26-page complaint. (more…)
Posted in Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien, Studios, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Warner Bros.
Parma Eldalamberon (The Book of Elven-tongues) is a journal of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship, a special interest group of the Mythopoeic Society. This new issue presents previously unpublished writings by J. R. R. Tolkien about an early version of one of his invented scripts, edited and annotated by Arden R. Smith, under the guidance of Christopher Tolkien and with the permission of the Tolkien Estate.
The Qenya Alphabet is an edition of Tolkien’s charts and notes dealing with the circa-1931 version of the writing-system later called Fëanorian Tengwar. It includes 40 documents in which Tolkien’s examples of the scripts are reproduced using electronic scans of black-and-white photocopies of the original manuscripts. (more…)
Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, Silmarillion, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate
More Tolkien on the big screen? This might not be what you had in mind, but… Remember Steve Hillard, the author of a controversial book ‘Mirkwood‘ which features JRR Tolkien as a fictional character? Well, after a series of legal wranglings, his lawsuit was settled with the Tolkien Estate, and it looks like he has decided to adapt ‘Mirkwood‘ for the screen.
Here’s the exclusive story from The Hollywood Reporter:
Author Steve Hillard has signed a deal with EMO Films to develop and secure financing for a film version of his novel Mirkwood, which centers around a fictional version of The Lord of the Rings authorJ.R.R. Tolkien.
Emo’s Joel Eisenberg and Timothy Owens will executive produce the project.
“The adaptation of Mirkwood will follow the template of the novel,” said Hillard, “but will delve considerably deeper into Tolkien’s little-known back story, such as his original plans to become a codebreaker in World War II up through the writing of his enduring works.”
[Read the Full Story]
Posted in Creations, Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Miscellaneous, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate
The J.R.R. Tolkien estate has settled a dispute with author Stephen Hilliard over a forthcoming fictional book that features Tolkien as a character and includes a critical analysis of Tolkien’s books.
In February, Hilliard went to the U.S. District Court in Texas seeking a declaration that he had a First Amendment right to publish Mirkwood, A Novel About J.R.R. Tolkien against the estate’s claims that such a book would infringe upon Tolkien’s name and likeness. The parties have now agreed on a plan that would allow the book to come out without further litigation. More..
Posted in Tolkien, Tolkien Estate
Beren writes: I received the following statement by the Tolkien Estate regarding the “Wheelbarrows at Dawn” cancellation:
Posted in Books Publications, Christopher Tolkien, Merchandise, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family
“The J R R Tolkien Estate has been made aware of a statement by ADC Publications concerning its cancellation of its proposed publication “Wheelbarrows at Dawn” by Angela Gardner and Neil Holford.
ADC’s statement suggests that the publication has been cancelled as a result of the Tolkien Estate’s threats to take court action preventing the release of the book.
As this statement is highly misleading, the Tolkien Estate considers it important that the true facts be clarified for those concerned. (more…)
Melilot sends along word: Regarding the launch of the new book on Hilary Tolkien: It’s been canceled. Andrew Compton sent along a message to explain things – I thought you might want to know before too many people are getting their hopes up. It’s a great pity I think.
Posted in Books Publications, Christopher Tolkien, Merchandise, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family
Andrew Compton writes:
“I am sorry to have to advise that despite the tremendous work and dedication to this project by Angela Gardner, Neil Holford, the Publishers, designers, artists, and financial backing by ADC Publications Ltd I have no choice but to cancel the publication of the book for legal reasons. (more…)
News from the Winnipeg Free Press on the Tolkien Trust’s donation to an inner-city clinic there. It will be able to fund holistic health initiatives over the next five years thanks to a donation from a charitable foundation set up in honour of the late author of the Lord of the Rings. The Tolkien Trust will donate £60,000 (about $93,000 Cdn.) to the Winnipeg Interdisciplinary Student-Run Health (WISH) clinic. [Read More]
Posted in Miscellaneous, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family
As was predicted last week, the legal rumblings between the Tolkien Estate and New Line have come to an end and the path is now clear for ‘The Hobbit’ film(s). Here’s the official press release:
The Tolkien Trust (a UK registered charity), New Line Cinema, and HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. have resolved the lawsuit relating to the “Lord of the Rings” films.
The claim was filed in February of last year. HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. and the trustees of the JRR Tolkien Estate were co-plaintiffs in the claim, which concerned plaintiffs’ participation interest in the “Lord of the Rings” films released between 2001 and 2003. The precise terms of the settlement are confidential.
Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Rumors Spy News, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family