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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Tentative settlement reached in Tolkien v. New Line Case


Sep 1 2009, 11:43pm

Post #1 of 15 (3585 views)
Tentative settlement reached in Tolkien v. New Line Case Can't Post

A tentative settlement has been reached in the case. The parties have filed a stipulation that explicitly states that "the parties have entered into a binding term sheet settling this matter, which term sheet is subject to certain necessary ratifications, which may take up to several weeks to obtain."

In other words, a settlement has been reached, but it needs to be approved by certain unnamed individuals/entities. I'm sure it is a complicated settlement, and I'm relatively sure that it includes specifications to ensure that payments are made on the Hobbit films, so I assume that one of the ratifications needs to come from Warner.

Generally speaking, these kinds of "ratifications" are a formality and the settlement would not have been entered into unless they were pretty much sure that it would be ratified. I would shocked if the settlement did not go through. In all likelihood, this case is no longer going to provide any obstacle to the Hobbit films.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


(This post was edited by Ataahua on Sep 2 2009, 12:21am)


Sep 2 2009, 1:03am

Post #2 of 15 (1146 views)
Very good news indeed! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for letting us all know!

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Sep 2 2009, 2:45am

Post #3 of 15 (1133 views)
Great news [In reply to] Can't Post

I do believe you are the first to post this anywhere. Thanks for the update!

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Sep 2 2009, 4:51am

Post #4 of 15 (1139 views)
LOL [In reply to] Can't Post

Veronwe--from TORn Legal Expert, to our "Legal Spy"! That's a new term, and a first, I think. How did you obtain this info--did you have crebain spying on the LA Superior Court offices?Wink

Very welcome news. I couldn't think how anyone would want to have this play out in a nasty public trial, when with each passing week and month it became clearer that neither side was going to back down, and after the well-publicized results (which would be picked up around the globe within a few hours, if not minutes) the losing party would certainly immediately file an appeal, thus dragging the whole tedious process on for God knows how long. And of course, further delaying the films.
As it stands, nobdy would win in a trial--in a sense, both parties would lose, even the winners. I hope all the parties involved were just as sick of it as we were--even the well-paid lawyers.

It's much better this way. I can't wait to find out what the settlement is, and how it was reached, if we find out at all.

As to what this means for Hobbit pre-production: does the studio have to wait for everything to be signed on the dotted line-all the formalities set in stone--all the complicated stuff you mentioned--in order to greenlight the films and allow such things as casting to officially go forward? Can the casting directors now be revealed and begin their work? Can this stuff now proceed, while the formalities are slowly hashed out? Will this affect how soon we may begin hearing news of this kind of stuff, or will everything sort of proceed as before, as if there was going to be an October trial--no news until after the "final results"?

If you have any inkling on this, it would be welcome!

(This post was edited by Sunflower on Sep 2 2009, 4:56am)

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Sep 2 2009, 6:40am

Post #5 of 15 (1093 views)
YAY! [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds good! And is not that unexpected, I'd say Wink
Now I just hope that agreement is acceptable for both sides and they're burying the hatchet after that is settled once and for all. And that we don't have to hear about more lawsuits.

Thank you for once again being the one to keep us updated! I don't know what we would do without you; we've already seen how 'reliable' other sources are, after all. And you can even explain it in a way that we poor non-lawyers understand it Smile

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Sep 2 2009, 11:19am

Post #6 of 15 (1064 views)
Wow, thanks for the update! [In reply to] Can't Post

On the one hand, this is the only solution that makes sense, because the original contracts were so unclear. It's certainly better for the parties to work out a deal both sides are happy with, rather than a judge or jury trying to figure things out when they're not as familiar with the situation as the parties themselves.

On the other hand, a judge's interpretation of the contracts/situation would have been really interesting. And it bothers me that New Line has been sued so many times, but always settles, so there's never any definitive statement of whether they've been accounting properly or not. If they've been deliberately ripping people off, that should be a matter of public record, but they always manage to weasel out of it.

In any case, it's nice not to have that uncertainty hanging over everything. Congrats to Voronwe and TORn for getting the scoop on this!

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Sep 2 2009, 1:37pm

Post #7 of 15 (1056 views)
As MrCere says... you're the first one! [In reply to] Can't Post

You sir, have been a source of hope and pride to this community! Thanks a lot!

Now let me just politely yell: YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll post something cleverer later, once I'm past the initial happiness. Smile

Please let us know of any further developments. Wink

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Sep 2 2009, 2:04pm

Post #8 of 15 (1031 views)
This is a relief. But with potentially so much money involved... [In reply to] Can't Post

in box office and dvd sales I never really thought New Line would be stupid enough not to do whatever it takes to get these Hobbit films off the ground.

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Sep 2 2009, 3:01pm

Post #9 of 15 (1022 views)
Wonderful to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope that the Tolkien Estate was rightfully re-imbursed what they were owed in the settlement, and that no lawsuits come up concerning what they are owed once The Hobbit comes into theatres. Perhaps Warner will have learned from New Line's mistakes.

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Sep 2 2009, 5:31pm

Post #10 of 15 (1018 views)
Yippee! [In reply to] Can't Post

This is great news! I'm looking forward to spy reports, spoilers, rumors about script/casting, etc. The only thing that would make this better would be if the Tolkien estate decided to relinquish control of "The Sil" or "UT" -- we could be anticipating a film about Beren and Luthien. (I know: "Not Gonna Happen")

Mark Sommer

Sep 2 2009, 7:21pm

Post #11 of 15 (1004 views)
Good news, indeed! [In reply to] Can't Post


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Sep 2 2009, 7:56pm

Post #12 of 15 (992 views)
Thanks so much fot these news! [In reply to] Can't Post

Let's hope that's the end of it than. My nerves are getting bad ;)

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Sep 8 2009, 11:29am

Post #13 of 15 (923 views)
Late in replying ... [In reply to] Can't Post

but a big thanks VtF for the news ...
Music to my ears - even though it's not totally finalized, but the news is too good to dampen the spirits!

Elven x


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Sep 8 2009, 6:37pm

Post #14 of 15 (928 views)
Is this new news? [In reply to] Can't Post

The Tolkien Trust, New Line Cinema and HarperCollins Settle 'Lord of the Rings' Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- 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. Commenting on the settlement, Christopher Tolkien said: "The Trustees regret that legal action was necessary, but are glad that this dispute has been settled on satisfactory terms that will allow the Tolkien Trust properly to pursue its charitable objectives. The Trustees acknowledge that New Line may now proceed with its proposed films of 'The Hobbit.'" Warner Bros.' President & Chief Operating Officer Alan Horn said: "We deeply value the contributions of the Tolkien novels to the success of our films and are pleased to have put this litigation behind us. We all look forward to a mutually productive and beneficial relationship in the future."

I'm not keeping up on this too much but it seemed like the confirmation was 'new' news.

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Sep 8 2009, 6:41pm

Post #15 of 15 (936 views)
Yes, the parties have now confirmed the settlement [In reply to] Can't Post

The parties released a joint press release this morning, confirming the settlement that I reported last week. So it is now a done deal.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'



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