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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Tolkien Trust, New Line & HarperCollins Settle LOTR Lawsuit
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Sep 8 2009, 6:58pm

Post #1 of 43 (2835 views)
Tolkien Trust, New Line & HarperCollins Settle LOTR Lawsuit Can't Post

New and final news?!!!


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"


(This post was edited by Oden on Sep 8 2009, 7:01pm)

Superuser / Moderator

Sep 8 2009, 7:27pm

Post #2 of 43 (1276 views)
Finally! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hopefully now it's full speed ahead with no more obstacles in the way! *touch wood*

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories

Kangi Ska

Sep 8 2009, 7:40pm

Post #3 of 43 (1165 views)
And Now [In reply to] Can't Post

I expect we will see the film green-lighted by the studio.

Kangi Ska

(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Sep 8 2009, 7:41pm)

Ainu Laire
Tol Eressea

Sep 8 2009, 7:43pm

Post #4 of 43 (1171 views)
Glad to see this over and done with! [In reply to] Can't Post

No more questionable accounting acts anymore, please Hollywood Crazy

*waits patiently for official green light*

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Sep 8 2009, 8:10pm

Post #5 of 43 (1365 views)
A rather odd quote from Warner Bros. [In reply to] Can't Post

"Warner Bros.’ President & Chief Operating Officer Alan Horn said: “We deeply value the contributions of the Tolkien novels to the success of our films..."

We deeply value the contributions of the Tolkien novels? As if there would have even been any movies at all without them?

It sounds like a rather queer thing to say. Perhaps it was out of a larger statement or context.

The Black Knight Always Triumphs!!

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Sep 8 2009, 9:25pm

Post #6 of 43 (1168 views)
than all we have to do is enjoy this exciting time on TORn! [In reply to] Can't Post


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Sep 8 2009, 9:54pm

Post #7 of 43 (1111 views)
Woohoo! [In reply to] Can't Post

That is very good news.

Where now the horse and the rider?


Sep 8 2009, 10:06pm

Post #8 of 43 (1079 views)
Excellent. [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that now that this is officially settled, the "Greenlight" on the project is soon to come...or at least "officially" announced!

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Sep 9 2009, 12:06am

Post #9 of 43 (1084 views)
Yes! Hurrah! / [In reply to] Can't Post


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Sep 9 2009, 12:18am

Post #10 of 43 (1129 views)
It does come across as [In reply to] Can't Post

self-absorbed and a bit foolish, doesn't it? "Thanks for helping us out with a few ideas for our movies".

I'd like to think that that is a misunderstanding of their intent, but if certain studio suits do indeed view their source material in that way it would explain some of the truly awful "adaptations" of excellent books that have been inflicted on the viewing public over the years. Tongue

Anyway, it's nice to know that the case is settled. Here's hoping that lessons have been learned and this process won't need to be repeated in 5 years for the Hobbit movies!


"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
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Sep 9 2009, 1:18am

Post #11 of 43 (1126 views)
You didn't believe VTF last week? {NT} [In reply to] Can't Post


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(This post was edited by MrCere on Sep 9 2009, 1:19am)

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Sep 9 2009, 1:34am

Post #12 of 43 (1434 views)
It wasn't confirmed last week. [In reply to] Can't Post

VtF's post gave great hope, but I don't believe court procedings are over until the money is finally in the bank.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories


Sep 9 2009, 4:22am

Post #13 of 43 (1118 views)
Comes across as more than a bit miffed. [In reply to] Can't Post

To me it means one of two things, or both:

1)Studios do indeed IMO look at source material that way, and the participation of the author as traditionally a nuisance. The participation of Jo Rowling in the intialstages of planning the HP films was unusual (the studio caving in to her demands that the "Britishness" of the books be preserved, etc.) It's common knowledge that the lowly writer is at the bottom, or near the very bottom, of the Hollywood food chain. This type of arrogance is typical of film studios.
On the other hand, I have a hard time believing that that is really the way they feel about Tolkien the author (as opposed to his descendants.) They saw what the LOTR films accomplished, and I'm sure by now the suits have had time to watch the EE Appendices and appreciate Jackson's serious attention paid to the novel (whatever the resultSly). I can only hope that in this case things may be different and they'll have an attitude of "if it ain't broke, don't break it."
Which leads me to think that that statement might be more indicative of Point 2--

2) Just *how* much money did Warner's have to cough up? I wish to God Voronwe had been able to get his crebain into the room where this missive was drafted and the terms agreed upon! As it is, it's bound to be a HUGE amount to make the TE happy! And since New Line is now part of Warner's, given the state of New Line's shaky finances, there's no way they could have coughed up all that money. Likely most it had to be Warner's money--ironically, if NL had still been independant, then WB would not have to be suffering, by having to fork over an amount of money that I'd guess is going to make signifigant inroads into their 2009 profits.
In the "heat of the moment", as it were, this statement to me smacks less of casual dismissal of Tolkien's books, and more of a rueful "Thanks but no freaking thanks!" A kind of tee'd off (and seething at not being able to show it in public)reply at the high price they're going to have to pay to launch this franchise. ("Mutually productive and beneficial"--ha, ha ha.Sounds like the loser in a Presidential election congradualting the winner. . Right. Laugh)
I don't think they ever thought it would ber this expensive! And if it weren;t for the guarunteed profits AND potential "serious" OScar success (as opposed to simply being "token Nominee Number 10" this might have LOTR's chance), they might have well decided it was more trouble than it was worth, and refused to go along; My guess is that knowing all this, they WILL Indeed swallow their pride, and fork it over.
This statement was more along the lines of a snarky reply to the TE, born out of resentment at the high cost of the settlement. Not to worry folks--but I wish we learn the green-lighting date, and the settlement terms!

(This post was edited by Sunflower on Sep 9 2009, 4:29am)


Sep 9 2009, 4:52am

Post #14 of 43 (1046 views)
More from Nikki Finke [In reply to] Can't Post


Interesting Comments section to the story. The posters sound like us! Well worth reading the comments so far!
(Note: LANGUAGE warning with the comments.) My favorite one so far is: "So does Bob Shaye still have the RIng?" Tongue

Hm...after re-reading this: change that to VERY freaking miffed.Laugh I'll bet they didn't expect the TE to not back down, indeed, to only amp up the pressure. By now, when lawsuits of this sort go on for years, as one of the Commenters says, the studio deploys armies of lawyers to batter them down over time and wear down their resistance. But unlike just about everyone else, the TE didn't buy it, anymore than Jackson did. I'll bet PJ is going to be very happy at hearing this news, and not just so his project can finally go forward!

Peredhil lover

Sep 9 2009, 5:27am

Post #15 of 43 (1012 views)
*grin* [In reply to] Can't Post

I see most of the commenters were picking on the one line I was most irritated with, too - about the contributions of the TE. Contributions, indeed! *snort* As if the studios could have come up with anything even remotely similar on their own! Without Tolkien, they would have had *nothing*!

Otherwise, I'm just happy that settlement is now final. Now the TE gets their due, and we can concentrate on the Hobbit!

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.

TORn Link Collection

(This post was edited by Peredhil lover on Sep 9 2009, 5:35am)


Sep 9 2009, 5:48am

Post #16 of 43 (1047 views)
Fantastic News! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah! After more than a year and a half of worries, this is such a relief! Now I'm even more anxious to hear about an official "green light". Thanks Oden!

"Expect me when you see me."

(This post was edited by stormcrow20 on Sep 9 2009, 5:55am)


Sep 9 2009, 7:10am

Post #17 of 43 (1030 views)
I wonder... [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been perusing the AICN story on this (now there's an interesting Talkback:), and can the amount of money Harry is throwing around possibly be true? Are they REALLY going with the actual 7.5% ($220+ million dollars?!?!ShockedShocked)
I still find that hard to believe...is that even possible? Would a film studio really consent to hand over that much?!? If so, this has to be unprecidented...

I don't know what to feel, about the long-term...if this is even halfway true, it shows just how much Warner's wants and values TH as a franchiseShocked. I guess it would be because the December 2011 release date for TH 1 HAS to be set in stone because, unlike Harry Potter, say, they can't fiddle around with the proposed release date; you couldn't move TH from December to say July, like HP6, because as I said before, unlike HP, a Tolkien adaptation has serious Best Picture potential (esp if directed by someone whose film was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, and boasts 2 Oscar winners already on his staff. (newly confirmed DoP Guillermo Navarro and Montise Ribe and crew at DDT.). They are looking down the line at doing their best to repeat ALL of LOTR's success. It's that rarest of gems: commercial megastatus and "literiary prestiege."
So they'll pay the TE to go away, so the production can roll smoothly along and make that all-important December/Oscar month release date.

That said, as the reality of this sinks in--how much money they have to pay, if this figure is true--or even halfway true. They might be SO resentful, that they may try to take it out on Guillermo and Peter, and they may attempt to scrutinize the production of TH with laser eyes and try to streamline it and make it as "safe" as possible, to guaruntee the profits. Which they don't need to do! I hope this isn't the menality they take...

But for now, very happy. Can't wait to hear from Voronwe--and hopefully Kristin Thompson! She'll have to devote a whole chapter to the litigation over the yrs:)

(This post was edited by Sunflower on Sep 9 2009, 7:16am)


Sep 9 2009, 7:12am

Post #18 of 43 (1056 views)
"Contributions" [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand everyone being miffed at this phrase, but on sober reflection, I think we should acknowledge that there were many, many dollars and manhours spent in producing these films. To be sure, the novels were the heart and soul (as well as the narrative) of the work, but the massive undertaking that produced these films shouldn't be devalued either. Just replay some of the RotK EE appendices, and be remnded of how many people were putting in 120 hour weeks there toward the end!

The Rohirrim, by Peter Xavier Price

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


Sep 9 2009, 7:20am

Post #19 of 43 (1020 views)
Of course... [In reply to] Can't Post

but the way the studio is phrasing it, I doubt Warner's was talking about the thousands of dedicated NZ artists, stuntpeople and craftsmen at the ground level. How mch did they get paid?
It's all about glorifying the Studio staff, the suits, of course... the Gods who wave their hands and command the lowly underlings.

And now, I'm off to bed, off to bed...it's been too long a day (and night.)


(This post was edited by Sunflower on Sep 9 2009, 7:21am)

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Sep 9 2009, 7:47am

Post #20 of 43 (1025 views)
"We deeply value the contributions of the Tolkien novels to the success of our films..." [In reply to] Can't Post

I too initially thought this statement was a little weird, but on second thought, I suppose what Alan Horn is trying to say is that WB highly values Tolkien's works and considers the possession of his literary property a contributing factor to the sucess of the studio's slate of film franchises as a whole.

That puts Alan Horn's statement in quite a positive light, and though one might be inclined to lean towards the statement's more negative connotations if viewed in a different context, I for one will give Alan Horn the benefit of the doubt Smile

"Crows and Gibbets! What is the House of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek and their brats roll around on the floor with their dogs! You are but a lesser son of greater sires."


Sep 9 2009, 8:53am

Post #21 of 43 (997 views)
Hm... [In reply to] Can't Post

Why do I get this picture of Christopher Tolkien with this wicked grin on his face, as he consults his father's HoME drafts, (once again).
"I wonder...how do you say "Mwhahahaha!! PAY UP, SUCKAS!!!" in Quenya?"TongueWink

I am so sorry...I could not resist.Angelic

(This post was edited by Sunflower on Sep 9 2009, 8:54am)


Sep 9 2009, 9:10am

Post #22 of 43 (1094 views)
The real reason the Estate won [In reply to] Can't Post

These cases always get settled out of court because no studio EVER wants the lawyers and judges to go picking through their dodgy accounting practices.

For studios, there is FAR more at stake than one film (or even three films) - it's the whole edifice and way they do business. It would be an industry-wide real Pandora's box to open the books.

This is why PJ won. This is why the Estate won.

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Sep 9 2009, 10:25am

Post #23 of 43 (994 views)
Great news indeed! [In reply to] Can't Post

It was even on the front page of our local newspaper's arts and entertainment section this morning - with the emphasis on the settlement giving the blessing for The Hobbit to get made.

I get the feeling there are a lot more folks out there than just us Tolkien fans, who are anxious about those two movies! Cool


"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Sep 9 2009, 2:12pm

Post #24 of 43 (972 views)
Maybe now that this obstacle is removed ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... the films can be greenlit, cast and the news can flow?? Please!? :D

Raptos a diis homines dici ...


Sep 9 2009, 2:17pm

Post #25 of 43 (1036 views)
We are all winners in this situation ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Regardless of what could be seen as a loss of money to NL/Warners - I think on the whole, they can also count themselves as winners, as can the TE and everyone else (fans included) - past, present, and up and coming who want to see The Hobbit made.
Congratulations TE! There's something wonderfully uncanny and reflective about the whole thing - you took on the big guys at the eleventh hour and won - not that your just the 'little people', but maybe its a mindset, sheer determination, sheer arogance, or that polite British Bulldog style ... but you did what was necessary, at a time when it could have not only jeopodized the movies, thousands of jobs and millions of dollars to charity and to the trust ... it was a huge risk, and I see something quite heroic in doing what you did, even if Ive had to hold my breath for months.
Im so relieved it got this far and settlement was made, and the outcome is that the future movies will be made.

But, I still wonder if there's a new accounting system being put into place for The Hobbit/s. Wink and I wonder if lessons have been learnt.
I hope so. Less grief - More Movies. Yay!

Elven x


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