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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What Say You? ...Hobbit Movie Reports, Rumours and Rumblings ~ 9th August 07

Elven
Valinor


Aug 10 2007, 12:14pm

Post #1 of 15 (2016 views)
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What Say You? ...Hobbit Movie Reports, Rumours and Rumblings ~ 9th August 07 Can't Post

So what do you think about the two articles which were flagged today relating to the LA times article about New Line and PJ ... and comments from Sir Ian while in NZ for King Lear .... about the Hobbit Movie ...
You can read both of the full articles from links on the Home Page.




What Say You about Sir Ians Comments ... are you optimistic?

Quoting the article from tvnz.co.nz Wizard Sir Ian returns as King

Quote


Asked how hopeful he was of returning to New Zealand to play Gandalf in The Hobbit, Sir Ian was tactful.


"Oh, I think that's a question for another occasion but I'm seeing Fran and Peter Jackson this evening and no doubt we will talk about that and other matters.
"But I have no news for you."

and ...

But it seems relations may be thawing - the director himself is still keen, and so is the wizard.
"I'm a generally optimistic person," says Sir Ian.





What Say You about New Lines current position ....

from the article in the LA Times (latimes.com) article headed: THE BIG PICTURE: New Line's midlife crisis .... regarding New Line and The Hobbit ...

Quote

As it turns out, Schwartz's departure is just one of many wrenching changes sweeping through the studio. Though New Line made a big fuss celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the studio has been mired in a horrific slump. The real question facing New Line, with the contracts of its co-chairmen Shaye and Michael Lynne up next September, is whether the studio can be turned around in time to save it.

Relations have been rocky with parent company Time Warner, which many people believe is eager to turn New Line into a less autonomous production entity if Shaye and Lynne depart.




What Say You .... about this quote from Shaye ...


Quote

If there is any good news here, it's that the studio is trying to reinvent its entire filmmaking process. "We've had a couple of bad years and it's very hard to figure out -- is it the films or is it the marketing?" says the famously blunt Shaye. "It felt like a disservice to everyone to just patch things up. I wanted someone with a fresh approach. It's exciting to me that Chris is from another medium -- he won't have the 'same old, same old' attitude. When you're in a rut, your job is to lift yourself out, which is something we're trying to do on the production side too."




What Say You ...relating to this Shaye comment ...


Quote
Eager to move ahead with "The Hobbit," New Line has quietly been trying to mend fences with "Rings" filmmaker Peter Jackson, who has sued the company over his share of profits from the first "Rings" films. When asked if it was true that company insiders had been in talks with Jackson's reps, Shaye replied, "Yes, that's a fair statement. Notwithstanding our personal quarrels, I really respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in 'The Hobbit.' "

Moving ahead with "The Hobbit" would tie in to another pivotal New Line issue: In an era when Hollywood is deluged with equity money, will Shaye and Lynne make a run at buying back New Line from Time Warner? Shaye's response was worthy of a U.N. diplomat: "We have not expressed that point of view publicly. And if we ever do, [Time Warner
chiefs] Dick Parsons and Jeff Bewkes would be the first to know about it."





What Say You ... about this question, which from the author, ends the article?


Quote

A lot is riding on whether New Line can reinvigorate itself. It's often the company on the skids that is most willing to take the kind of daring risk that can turn everything around. Staking the company's future on "Lord of the Rings" was one of the great long-shot gambles in Hollywood history. The real question about New Line is: Can lightning strike twice?




What Say You ... anything you'd like to add to this? ...

Elven


SILVERCHAIRS Daniel Johns gets the crowd going at the 'Big Day Out Festival' at Minas Tirith before Denethors famous stage dive.


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
..*sing & sway* "All we are saying ..Is Give Pete A Chance" ...
"Your friends are with you Peter"


weaver
Half-elven

Aug 10 2007, 1:04pm

Post #2 of 15 (1807 views)
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New Line -- the "fool's hope" studio.. [In reply to] Can't Post

The LA story that gives some insights into New Line is the best perspective I've seen yet on what's been happening. Sounds like the studio is the kind of place that does best when it takes big gambles, rather than routinely turning out films that are predictably good.

I know people in real life who operate just like that -- things have to get to a crisis before they do their best work. So, they sort of create that situation for themselves in order to perform. Very frustrating along the way but the end result is good.

As a kind of "fool's hope" studio, really...which in this case, worked once and will hopefully work again.

The other line that caught my eye was "the director is keen to make it". I think Jackson too may be more ready now than before to do the Hobbit -- and who can blame him for wanting a nice long break and a chance to do other things and he's now had that chance...the law suit fight was probably just what both NL and Jackson needed, in a weird sort of way, to get in the right space to work together again.

Very encouraging!

Weaver



Elven
Valinor


Aug 10 2007, 2:55pm

Post #3 of 15 (1809 views)
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Some more crumbs into the breadmix ... [In reply to] Can't Post

  
Asked how hopeful he was of returning to New Zealand to play Gandalf in The Hobbit, Sir Ian was tactful.
"Oh, I think that's a question for another occasion but I'm seeing Fran and Peter Jackson this evening and no doubt we will talk about that and other matters.
"But I have no news for you."
and ...
But it seems relations may be thawing - the director himself is still keen, and so is the wizard.
"I'm a generally optimistic person," says Sir Ian.

I have always had the impression that Sir Ian is closely monitoring the Hobbit situation, and I think he comments have always had an edge of hope about them - Never Say Never sort of attitude ... I feel he thinks that there is a way through this and its just a matter of time ... but he's waiting to see what happens - obviously there are things beyond his control - but I feel he has given his support and solidarity with Peter Jackson and its not just about the Hobbit. I'd be interested to know whats on the dinner discussion menu too Wink
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

from the article in the LA Times (latimes.com) article headed: THE BIG PICTURE: New Line's midlife crisis .... regarding New Line and The Hobbit ...
As it turns out, Schwartz's departure is just one of many wrenching changes sweeping through the studio. Though New Line made a big fuss celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the studio has been mired in a horrific slump. The real question facing New Line, with the contracts of its co-chairmen Shaye and Michael Lynne up next September, is whether the studio can be turned around in time to save it.

Relations have been rocky with parent company Time Warner, which many people believe is eager to turn New Line into a less autonomous production entity if Shaye and Lynne depart.


'Wrenching" ... how subtle ....how does 'Destruction' sound? I think New Line is in a bad way and the foundations are starting to shift, if not crumble. NL might be restructured from the ground up ... as I said once before ... heads are going to roll - it all depends which ones, and I tthink other will jump ship - but it sounds as if its already happening ... and Time Warner and the owners of the Axe as I see it ... though I feel its a rather untrustworthy situation. What does it mean for the Hobbit if Shaye's contract is not renewed? I wondered who has the option of renewal? Him, New Line or its something that has to be negotiated evenly ...What about an early retirement for him ... or at least bowing out gracefully, then to take up other options like either starting another company or buying New Line (if TW sold or cut it up)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


If there is any good news here, it's that the studio is trying to reinvent its entire filmmaking process. "We've had a couple of bad years and it's very hard to figure out -- is it the films or is it the marketing?" says the famously blunt Shaye. "It felt like a disservice to everyone to just patch things up. I wanted someone with a fresh approach. It's exciting to me that Chris is from another medium -- he won't have the 'same old, same old' attitude. When you're in a rut, your job is to lift yourself out, which is something we're trying to do on the production side too."


Would it be too obvious to say that the LoTR was the thoroughbred New Line gelded?
... and that the Same old Same old ... is the Same old reply thats been given - shifting the responsibility from where it should lie.




Eager to move ahead with "The Hobbit," New Line has quietly been trying to mend fences with "Rings" filmmaker Peter Jackson, who has sued the company over his share of profits from the first "Rings" films. When asked if it was true that company insiders had been in talks with Jackson's reps, Shaye replied, "Yes, that's a fair statement. Notwithstanding our personal quarrels, I really respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in 'The Hobbit.' "

I think New Line are being pushed by Time Warner to patch things up - though Leopards dont change their spots - it doesnt suprise me that this comment from Shaye is arogant or smug ... creatively involved in some way? Whoa? ... it sounds as if he is expecting some input from Peter, but not control of the Project with Directing ... I thought it sounded like he's looking at a co-creative project or restrictions? ... I think there has been or is another offer on the table - not from NL and Shaye - but from Peters camp. Even if it gets cut to shreds as well - things are still moving.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Moving ahead with "The Hobbit" would tie in to another pivotal New Line issue: In an era when Hollywood is deluged with equity money, will Shaye and Lynne make a run at buying back New Line from Time Warner? Shaye's response was worthy of a U.N. diplomat: "We have not expressed that point of view publicly. And if we ever do, [Time Warner
chiefs] Dick Parsons and Jeff Bewkes would be the first to know about it."

Wonder what the shares are worth at the current market downturn - I wonder how this effects new productions, salaries and projects? and how much money will be available soon - I wonder if there will be budget considerations as to which movies to invest with ...

Is New Line ripe to buy out? It would be if it was in a mess - Im sure they could get it for a good price if its on the skids. Run the company that you chair into the ground ... make this close to the time you are about to bow out ... buy it ... have your first production as the Hobbit ... and clean up ...
If New Line change hands, Im sure having a lawsuit still hanging over their head (on sale) drops the price and changes the playing field a bit ... Im not Lawyer, but I wonder if this is relevant?

I reckon Shaye/Lynne might divorce themselves from New Line - buy it at the Fire Sale - reorganise it, - and then partner up to buy New Line back - especially if it was cut up. (Good if Pete had some form of compensation) Wink

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


A lot is riding on whether New Line can reinvigorate itself. It's often the company on the skids that is most willing to take the kind of daring risk that can turn everything around. Staking the company's future on "Lord of the Rings" was one of the great long-shot gambles in Hollywood history. The real question about New Line is: Can lightning strike twice?


Reinvigorate? What about reinvent itself? That'll be some challenge! ... and maybe the skids is exactly where its needed and wanted to be ..but as to whose benefit thats for is to be seen ... Im sure theyre not going to resoundingly spout about huge profits (if they have them or not) with a lawsuit over their head the size of Peters ... and who would know ... the same accountants possibly look after that dying bottom line as well ... I think there will be alot of regrets and looking back about what could/should have been done ... I think it will all go backwards.


I still beleive that Peter Jackson will Direct the Hobbit, and have a bit more than 'some' creative involvement' .... and I reckon that there would be some more rumblings (or an earthquake) around September Wink
.... and weaver ... a Fools Hope - what ever way it falls - I still have the hope too Smile


SILVERCHAIRS Daniel Johns gets the crowd going at the 'Big Day Out Festival' at Minas Tirith before Denethors famous stage dive.


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
..*sing & sway* "All we are saying ..Is Give Pete A Chance" ...
"Your friends are with you Peter"

(This post was edited by Elven on Aug 10 2007, 3:01pm)


hasufel
Rivendell


Aug 10 2007, 3:46pm

Post #4 of 15 (1785 views)
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Thanks for the info and work to summarize! [In reply to] Can't Post

It is very much appreciated! Smile


hasufel
Rivendell


Aug 10 2007, 3:50pm

Post #5 of 15 (1815 views)
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great insight! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The other line that caught my eye was "the director is keen to make it". I think Jackson too may be more ready now than before to do the Hobbit -- and who can blame him for wanting a nice long break and a chance to do other things and he's now had that chance...the law suit fight was probably just what both NL and Jackson needed, in a weird sort of way, to get in the right space to work together again.



I very much agree with this.

It could be a blessing in disguise that this break occured.

I believe Peter is the only man for the job of directing the Hobbit and prequel.

But I am sure he was burned out after the whirlwind of the trilogy.

We need him and his team to be at their top creative selves to make these movies to the high standard we are used to.



Voorhas
Lorien


Aug 10 2007, 6:24pm

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Bridgebuilding [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't know New Line's situation was that poor, but then again, this is the studio that brought us The Last Mimzy and The Number 23 this summer.

I'm glad the situation is on the mend (however slowly and slightly). I wonder how Bob Shaye's Time/Warner overlords felt about his "no Peter Jackson, no how, no way" announcements.

"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." -- E.A. Poe


FarFromHome
Valinor


Aug 10 2007, 7:05pm

Post #7 of 15 (1787 views)
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That lawsuit [In reply to] Can't Post

As I recall, the lawsuit is to force New Line to open their books and let PJ's auditors have a look at them. Apparently an agreement to allow the auditors to look at the books was written into the contract, but for some reason understood only by lawyers, this is always written into movie contracts but never allowed to happen. I had the impression that PJ was more interested in the principle of being able to check for himself that he wasn't being ripped off, rather than in getting any particular amount of money. And, in the bigger picture, perhaps in the principle that Hollywood shouldn't be allowed to make all the rules to benefit itself and keep other players out of the market.

Now I'm wondering if New Line was so upset about the lawsuit because it would have shown just how bad their books actually were. They tried to make a deal with The Hobbit, by offering PJ the chance to make the movie if he would give up the lawsuit. A no-brainer for anyone who's interested primarily in making money, rather than making movies. But not for PJ. Here's what he wrote in his email to TORn:


Quote

... We have also said that we do not want to tie settlement of the lawsuit to making a film of The Hobbit. In other words, we would have to agree to make The Hobbit as a condition of New Line settling our lawsuit. In our minds this is not the right reason to make a film and if a film of The Hobbit went ahead on this basis, it would be doomed. Deciding to make a movie should come from the heart - it's not a matter of business convenience. When you agree to make a film, you're taking on a massive commitment and you need to be driven by an absolute passion to want to get the story on screen. It's that passion, and passion alone, that gives the movie its imagination and heart. To us it is not a cold-blooded business decision.

... our Manager Ken Kamins got a call from the co-president of New Line Cinema, Michael Lynne, who in essence told Ken that the way to settle the lawsuit was to get a commitment from us to make the Hobbit, because "that's how these things are done". Michael Lynne said we would stand to make much more money if we tied the lawsuit and the movie deal together and this may well be true, but it's still the worst reason in the world to agree to make a film.



So it looks like the lawsuit will have to be settled before The Hobbit can go ahead, but perhaps that's where the movement is happening right now. PJ has waited out New Line until they're getting desperate. I imagine he's known all along that they need The Hobbit more than he does - and I think right now they're probably thinking that opening up the books might not be such a bad idea after all.

That said, I do wonder if PJ might end up just producing The Hobbit instead of directing it. He does like to let other people get involved in his projects, and this might not be such a bad thing for The Hobbit - with PJ's oversight, Weta's designs and perhaps a new vision from an up-and-coming director from PJ's "stable", we might get a very interesting movie or two.

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.

(This post was edited by FarFromHome on Aug 10 2007, 7:06pm)


Loresilme
Valinor


Aug 12 2007, 11:07pm

Post #8 of 15 (1736 views)
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In a lurking frenzy [In reply to] Can't Post

ever since the new news started breaking early in the week!

Thanks SO MUCH for this discussion thread Elven, what a great idea Heart!!


Elven
Valinor


Feb 7 2008, 2:39pm

Post #9 of 15 (1844 views)
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New Rumours Rumblings & Reports about New Line as of Feb 8 08 [In reply to] Can't Post

So now we are in 2008 - the lawsuit has been resolved ... we have Peter Jackson on board with Fran Walsh as executive producers ... The Hobbit is due for release 2010 and 2011 (though I seriously doubt this time line - I think it will be later) .... Del Toro has been seen on a video announcing he's going to Direct the Hobbit, yet at the moment we still wait for confirmation ... the writers strike is still on, yet there has been some progression and most people think it will be over soon .... Howard Shore has been quoted about the Hobbit score ... and the boards have about 1700 members .... its been a hell of a few months since the last post ...


But more on the ongoing New Line / MGM / Shaye debarcle:

This is whats currently capturing the headlines ..


Quote

here are Nikky Finks article/s on this which is like a runnong timeline commentary ...

http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/...ms-new-line-changes/
Posted by Nikki Finke on Wednesday, Feb 6th, 2008 at 09:03AM


Quote

In a conference call with analysts today, CEO Jeff Bewkes said Time Warner plans companywide cost cuts and specifically mentioned that its New Line Cinema movie studio is ripe for expense reductions. News reports said Bewkes stated that changes in the film industry leave less purpose for New Line. I reported last month that sources told me New Line co-founders Bob Shaye's and Michael Lynne's contracts wouldn't be renewed by Bewkes and that the studio would either be folded into Warner Bros or sold altogether to someone like Terry Semel. My latest info is that when Bewkes met with the New Line pair to deliver the bad news, the twosome pushed back and told Bewkes they would put together a plan for reorganization that would save the company a lot of money in exchange for a contract extension that leaves them as co-heads of the studio. But Bewkes isn't interested in that scenario.
Bewkes also told analysts that he is in ongoing discussions to potentially reduce the media giant's ownership in Time Warner Cable and plans to separate the declining Internet-access business of its AOL unit as a way to streamline the media giant and revive its stock price. But Bewkes also signaled he will stress pushing Time Warner's entertainment content onto digital properties. Bewkes said Time Warner -- and most in the industry overall -- need to be "a bit more revolutionary than evolutionary" in digital initiatives, that all linear TV networks should be available on demand via broadband and TV sets, and that TW will make its own networks available on-demand "aggressively" to "show the industry the benefits."




For background, see my previous stories:
  1. SOURCES: Terry Semel Looks At New Line
  2. SOURCES: Bob Shaye's New Line Contract Won't Be Renewed By TW Boss
  3. Peter Jackson And Bob Shaye Settle; Jackson Will Exec Produce 'Hobbit'
  4. Another Reason Bob Shaye Should Retire
  5. The Dog Ate New Line's Balance Sheets...
  6. Bob Shaye's Mea Culpa Too Little Too Late
  7. It's Official! Carlisle To New Line
  8. Is This Russell's New Line Replacement?
  9. Another Reason Why Bob Shaye Is A Prick
  10. Bob Shaye Looks Like Even Bigger Idiot...
  11. Studios To Fight Over Unusual Peter Jackson Pic Deal (But Not New Line)
  12. Bombs Away: Shaye's 'Mimzy' Tracking 0
  13. Peter Jackson Answers Lord Of The Rants

Posted by Nikki Finke on Wednesday, Feb 6th, 2008 at 09:03AM |




It seems that there are rumours surrounding renewing contracts and a change for New Line.
It will be interesting to see what happens ...

I'll have a think and post back, but I think I am still keeping with my previous post on the thread.

I made comment on the movie board yesterday, in a What Say You Thread Del Toror will Direct The Hobbit ... regarding investors, investments in the Hobbit, and what the expectations are - especially on the new of Del Toro directing (unconfirmed as yet) and how we could be very well monitered for the responses ... not just here of course ... but also regarding projecting finances and what sort of income the Hobbit may generate ... I wonder how much the Hobbit is worth in a fire sale ... I'd say it would keep it value pretty well ...
Somehow these all seem intrinsicslly tied in ....

Maybe New Linewill be split in some way and is one of MGMs new Movie franchises? ... MGM waits for no one!! LOL!! Cool

anyway, just an ongoing update as to matters :D

Cheers
Elven


The Shire was never the same after
Barbra Cartland moved into Bagshot Row.


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Elven
Valinor


Feb 21 2008, 5:06pm

Post #10 of 15 (1753 views)
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Update: 21st Feb 08 - New Line Sued by Tolkien Estate. [In reply to] Can't Post

There has been a few postings and threads recently on main about this topic - this one is by Compa Mighty ... http://newboards.theonering.net/...75532=View+Flat+Mode
and Kristin Thompson has blogged an update ...
A copy transcription of the court papers have been listed on the web ... posted by ArathornJax ... http://news.findlaw.com/...newline21108cmp.html
which I have made commnet on ..
and it may mean certain death for New Line if this goes ahead ... and for the hobbit movie, a lengthy delay, and possible new management and contract updates for licensing and use of Tolkiens works.

I thought it might be possible to summerize and update at this time before things start to move again in any direction.

What follows is my understanding of the situation by my deduction and assessment of what has been stated in the FindLaw article. I have based my interpretation on their documentation. I have tried to point form it and simplify it somewhat so as I can understand it.


So far there has been no comment from Peter Jackson on any of the topics related to the film at all
It is still uncertain weather Del Toro will be directing the Hobbit, and although he said he was in an interview posted by a French LOTR website ... (there is still no confirmation that he will). Much was stipulated that the writers strike has something to do with the announcement being postponed. But the writers strike has now been resolved to some degree (the writers are back to work) ... but still there has been no official announcement.
On the 11th of Feb 08, we find the Tolkien Estate/s custodians are suing New Line for not being paid a cent for the LOTR films and LOTR ancillaries which they are owed through contract/s.



This is the home page from FindLaw which outlines the situation:


Quote

The trust that manages the estate of J.R.R. Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and intellectual property sued New Line Cinema, the Hollywood studio that obtained the rights to produce films based upon his works.
The trust slams New Line, alleging that it’s been “engag[ing] in the infamous practice of ‘Hollywood accounting’ by using various ‘bookkeeping’ devices to delay paying Tolkien’s trust.
The suit claims that:
“The three hugely successful films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved “Lord of the Rings” trilogy have grossed nearly $6 billion. Despite these record-setting revenues (amounts derived ultimately from Professor Tolkien’s classic fantasy novels....[New Line] has paid nothing to Tolkien’s successors with respect to their contractually-mandated participation in the gross revenues of the films.

* * *...n spite of the Film’s unprecedented financial success, platiniffs have not received a single penny of their contracted share of the gross receipts earned from the Films.” (emphases in original)


The trustees claim that they haven’t been the only financial victims of this scenario, disclosing that director Peter Jackson’s production company also sued New Line over the studio’s alleged “failure to properly account and pay to Jackson his appropriate profit participation in the films.”
According to the lawsuit, a series of agreements made in1969 granted United Artists the right to make films based on Tolkien’s works in exchange for paying the Trusts’s predecessors-in-interest “a total of 7.5% of the ‘Gross Receipts’ from any films based upon” Tolkien’s works, “after a contractually-defined ‘Artificial Payment Level’ [wa]s reached.” New Line subsequently acquired those rights.
The suit seeks more than $150 million in damages from New Line for breach of contract; the right to terminate the studio’s rights to make more films based on Tolkien’s works, reformation of the original 1969 contract; punitive damages, an accounting, and related relief.




The qusetion beings asked at this point (seeing as there has been no ruling by the judge as to where the plantiffs stand with their suit), is "What potential effect or impact does this lawsuit have or possibly have, on the Movie the Hobbit One and Two, and what possible judgements and outcomes could be made by the courts?


some interesting elements in the case are:

The plainiffs are trustees of the Tolkien Trust and the trustees of the JRR Tolkien 1967 Discretionary Settlement (UK Trust)... which include publishers and Family trustees of Tolkiens estate.
The defendants are New Line Cinema Corporation and Katja Motion Picture Corporation.

The complaints is:
1. Breach of Contract;
2. Declatory Relief - Termination;
3. Declatory relief - Profit Participation
4. Reformation;
5. Fraud;
6. Accounting
7. Constructive Trust;
and
8. Breech of Fiduciary Duty.


The amount that the films were to have reportedly grossed is $6 billion dollars, being made up of $3 billion movie box office revenue & $3 billion from home video and othr ancillary revenue.
New Line has been accussed of Hollywood style accounting practises which see's profit sharing participants recieve no payments, as the accounting methods claim profit payments as expenses, dont not report gross income revenue as contractually obligated to, only reporting on 20% of the gross profit revenue, have over inflated the charges and payments for the production by $100 million per film. Basically a range of improper accounting and unlawful accounting methods have been used.
The Tolkien Estate and Trustees have not been paid any money what so ever, under contractual agreement, due to the accounting practises which establish the profit and loss for the Films for New Line.
New Line presently and in the past have refused and denied any investigation or audit of films 2) The Two Towers and 3)The Return of The King.
New Line have permitted the desrtuction of records receipts and books which enable determination of revenue and profits from the films.
New Line fail and refuse to co-operate on any level to calculate the true profit shares owed to profit share participants, even on demand and under contractual obligation.
New Line are accused of continuing this stance currently, and continue to breech the stipulated requirements of the contract to the plaintiffs.

The Tolkien Trust and the JRR Tolkien Discretionary Trust (plaintiffs) are the successors-in-intrest of JRR Tolkien.
The Publishers (plaintiffs) are licencees for the books.
New Line Cinema (defendant) is a wholly-owned subsidary of Time-Warner.
Katja Motion Picture Corporation (defendant) is a subsidary or affiliate of New Line Cinema (in other words it is directed by New Line in its dealings and yet is a seperate arm of new Line set up for the purpose of accounting for the films LOTR trilogy)
Katja were soley accountable for the actual physical production of the films and were responsible for the accounting of the costs of producing the films.
The names and the roles of the people (defendants) of Katja are unknown at this time and are ficticious until true identities and roles can be established.
The planitiffs ask to ammend the complaint once the names, titles and roles in Katja are known.
The Plaintiffs hold those people in Katja responsible in some manner for what has gone on (acts and ommissions) which have caused the Hollywood accounting practises, and therfore find them liable as well.
The Tolkien estate believe that Katja (persons and roles) acted under the direction of New Line (person and roles) in their accounting methods, so both are individually and co-operatively responsible and liable regarding the complaints from TE. In other words the defendants worked hand in hand.

There are 2 agreements (contracts) which govern and bind those involved in the current suit.
Agreement 1: The 1969 Sassoon Agreement (between Sassoon Trustee & Executor Corporation, and United Artists)
The Tolkien Trust and the Tolkien Discretionary Trust are the beneficiaries of the money in the 1969 Sassoon Agreement (Agreement 1) and Sassoon represent them in the Agreement.

Agreement 2: The 1969 GUA Agreement (between George Allan & Unwin, and United Artists)
Harper Collins are the successors-in-trust of the GUA Agreement - Harper Collins get money from the agreement they made with United Artists.

In the words of the complaint, Agreement 1 and Agreement 2, are collectively refered to as 'The 1969 Agreements' - and the Agreements are covered by New York Law.
In "The Agreements" - United artists got the rights to to make films based on the literary works LOTR and the Hobbit. In doing so they agreed to pay George Allan & Unwin, and Sassoon Trustees (total inclusive between the 2 of them) '7.5% of the Gross Receipts' on any film made after the "Artificial Payment Level" was reached.
The 'Artificial Payment level' is also known as in the complaint as the "Gross Receipt Participation" or "Participation".
The 1969 Agreement defines Gross Reciepts to include all monies derived by the distributor of the photoplay.
"The 1969 Agreement defines the Artificial Payment Level as the point where the Gross Reciepts exceed 2.6 times the final cost of production of the photo play plus other certain defined costs"
The 1969 Agreement also states that United Artists must provide monthly accounting statemnts for the first 3 years after any film is released - then semi annual accounting statements after that time.

In a series of changes New Line were the successors-in-intrest of the obligation taken on by United Artists regarding 'The 1969 Agreements'
This happened because:
In 1976 Saul Zaentz purchased from United Artists - 'The 1969 Agreements". He (Zaentz) was then responsible to pay the "7.5% Gross Reciept Participations" to Sassoon and George Allen & Unwin (Harper Collins). It was in the contract to do so and also to abide by any other contractual obligations stated in the 1969 Agreements.
In 1997 Zaentz granted Miramax Film Corporation license to the produce, distribute and exploit the literary works - which basically meant that could make and distribute and advertise their version of JRR literary works in film base.
When The Agreements - went into the hands of Miramax, the 1969 Agreements license by Zaentz are called the Miramax Agreements.
Miramax agreed to be the ones then, by contract, to pay the Gross Reciept Participations, and abide by all the contractual obligations. Zaents then was the predecessor of the Agreements at that time.

In 1998 Miramax, under Zaents consent, assigned The 1969 Agreements (The Miramax Agreements) over to New Line.
In 2000, an effective agreement was that New Line took over all the obligations of the Miramax Agreement, which was The 1969 Agreements, which then made New Line obiged to uphold everything stipulated as well as pay the Gross Receipt Participations.
So New Line are the ones which now are obliged to uphold the obligations and contractual stipulations set out in The 1969 Agreements. Zaentz and Miramax are the predecessors-in-interest now, of The 1969 Agreement. (In effect this is: - The 1969 Agreements, The Zaentz Agreement, and the Miramax Agreement - which are basically the same contract of obligations and sagreement under the original terms of the 1969 Agreements, and the terms of the predecessor-in-interests Agreements.)

Soooo ...
The films were produced distributed and exploited by New Line in a series of theatrical releases over 3 years ... 2001,02,03.
Box Office Reciepts $3 billion approx, and $3 billion revenue in video, television and ancillary revenues to date, and still generate revenue.
The plaintiffs believe that this is a claimed amount of revenue generated by the use of the litereary works of JRR Tolkien and are subject to the obligations of The 1969 Agreements..

It is at this point that the Accounting for the films becomes a point of interest in the case.

It is believed that New Line not only deprived the plaintiffs of their profit shares, but also other 'investors' or those intitled to a share in the profits of the revenue generated by the films (in whatever their capacity was).

In 2002 New Line started to send out the Periodical Participation statements. The statements, claimed by accounted methods, said that no one was owed any money. They periodically still send these out to the Plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs complained that the accounting methology was not right. New Line ignored and avoided the complaints made to them.
Ultimately in 2005 (3 years later) they allowed a partial audit of film 1; Fellowship of The Ring. In doing this they blocked and would not release certain documents pertaining to the reciepts and accounting methods used, they delayed and denied plaintiffs any access to documents to complete the audit properly. They defiantly refused any audits on film 2 and 3.
The partial audit of film 1 revealed ...
Substantial understating of Gross Reciepts on the films.
Understated and undisclosed revenue on video and ancillaries domestc and international - by hundred of millions of dollars.
Failing to calculate into the Gross Reciepts revenue and revenue derived from inhouse sales and distributions of their own or affiliates.
Substantially overstating costs and payments and bonuses to people.
Improperly claiming expenses - such as revenue due by contracts (zaentz and Miramax) as expenses.
Claiming receipt profits paid, as expenditures.
Claiming costs they never spent.
Forward accounting - claiming costs they hadnt paid or had intention to pay.
Failing to pay plaintiffs under the terms of the Agreements.
Falsely accounting revenues for the agreements to plaintiffs.
Charging Plaintiffs millions of dollars in 'over budget' penalties, phantom interest charges.
Allocating costs between films.
Not taking tax breaks and subsidies they were entitled to.
Failing to comply with terms of agreements made.
Failing to pay people.
Failing to supply documentation and destroying documents relaevant to the process of assessing the revenue generated.
Failure to properly determine the amounts of renevue owing to the plaintiffs.


So basically New Line have
Not held their contractual obligations set out in their Zaentz/New Line Agreements, nor have they in turn fulfilled their contractual obligations to United Artists.
NL have not been faithful to thier obligations or acted harmlessly to plaintiffs as stated in the contract.
NL continue to breech their obligations and conditions set out in the Agreements.
They have deprived plaintiffs of money owed and have cost the Plaintiffs money - (an amount to be determined).

So the Plaintiffs request from the Courts .. ..
A decision to be determined by the court for the rights to cancel or terminate any rights that New Line have to the literary works ... which includes past and future films because of New Lines consistant misconduct.
This is the Action of Termination of those rights - One film based on the Hobbit, and one Film Based on the Hobbit using elements of the trilogy - future exploitation distribution of the trilogy.

New Lines failure to pay any of the Gross Reciept Participations has effectively breeched the 1969 Agreements, and any subsequent Agreements.
Paragraph 23 of the GUA (2nd Agreement mentioned before above) .. gives the plaintiffs this explicit right to the films.
Plaintiffs have the right to cancel and terminate all future rights of New Line under the 1969 Agreements - which also includes past films - which also means the rights to distribute and exploit the trilogy - and any future films - which means the rights to produce distribute and exploit the two proposed Hobbit films pending - and also to recover any damages if they incurr any.

New Line defends that the right for the plaintiffs to terminate or cancel their rights does not exist.


A factor ...
The 7.5% Gross Profit Particiaption is divided between The 1969 Agreements - Agreement One's share is a2.5% royalty and the other Agreement Two, has a 5% royalty stake ... this mkaes up the 7.5% of the Gross Profit Participation.
The Two 'contracts' which make up the 1969 Agreements - are inseperable - they make the Agreement a single document.

New Line see's the document differently and propose and apply their interpretation of Gross Profit Reciepts as being ... 7.5% for The Fellowship of The Ring, The Return of The King, The Hobbit ... and 2.5% for the Two Towers.

The Plaintiffs want determined that the Agreement is one document and covers the Two Towers at the Gross Profit Royalty rate of 7.5% just as the others do.

To be continued ....
*****************************************************

so to continue ... because my hands have gonr numb from typing and my eyes hurt Crazy i will get back to this posts soon ... and finish my interpretation ...

Please feel free to make seperate post comments on this thread, but maybe not attatched to this post directly, until I can add the second half ...


Thanks guys!
Cheers Elven x


Amy Winehouse acquires Shire retreat for Summer ...


Amy Winehouse sells Shire retreat in Autumn ...


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Elven
Valinor


Feb 22 2008, 3:24pm

Post #11 of 15 (1739 views)
Shortcut
Update: 21st Feb 08 - New Line Sued by Tolkien Estate - continued ... [In reply to] Can't Post

continued ...


If the courts determine that the 1969 Agreements are in the written form they are now, do not reflect the 7.5% of the Gross Reciepts (after the artificial Payment Level is reached) for the Two Towers, that the Agreements should be ammended to reflect this ...

NewLine, through its accounting personel and Senior Management have misrepresented and knowingly sent out the Participation Statements the plaintiffs have recieved, which concealed facts and were purposely a misrepresentation of the facts.

Each of the Participation Statements are false and fraudulent. They repeatedly reflect an innacurate revenue by means of innacurate accounting of costs and production charges which changes the Artificial Payment Levy. New Line aslo are aware that documents were purposely destroyed.

The plaintiffs allege that they are owed - from the fraudulent and misconduct by New Line - that they are owed in excess of 150million dollars. The Plaintiffs will ammend the total when the full amount of damages are ascertained. The true conduct of New Line only came to light after the first audit, and New Line has balnkly refused to co-operate with any further enquires and requests for information since. Plaintiffs claim that they are entitled to an award of punative and exemplary damages.

Plantiffs want a full account and accurate account of all to be able to view Katjas and New Lines records for producing and exploiting films 2 & 3 so they can accurately assess the money that is owed to them from the Gross Reciepts.

Plaintiffs believe that New Line falslely profited from the Movies themselves, and that, that money is owed to the plaintiffs. New Line has been unjustly enriched.
Due to this unjust profit held by New Line, plaintiffs see New Line as being an involuntary trustee, holding this money in constructive trust for the benefit of plaintiffs.
So the plantiffs are entitled to recover their moneys or other benefits received or held by New Line from any other property held in trust.

The plaintiffs property must also be 'looked after' by New Line, and the relationship between parties should be manageable and respectful.
New Line has breeched it fiduciary duties to plaintiffs, which in turn has damaged the plaintiffs by having no regard to the plaintiffs rights in the matter.
The plaintiffs will assess the amount of damages and will seek to recover this amount when true figures come to light. These amounts are to deter New line from continuous behaviour of the kind alleged in the future.



Plaintiffs look for the following judgement of outcome:


Quote

1. For compensatory damages in eccess of $150 million dollars;

2. For punative damages in an amount which, considering New Lines enormous worldwide wealth and income, is sufficient to punish New Line , to set an example and deter further such wrongful behaviour;

3. For a declaration that plaintiffs are entitled to terminate and cancel all future rights of New Line under the 1969 Agreements, including without limitation New Line's right to produce, distribute, and/or exploit future films based upon the Trilogy and/or the Films, as well as all rights to produce, distribute and/or exploit films based on The Hobbit, and without predjudice to the plaintiffs right to recover damages or to any other right or remedy of plaintiffs;

4. For a declaration that plaintiffs are entitled to receive 7.5% of the Gross Receipts (after the Artificial Payment Levy is reached) as to any films based upon Professor Tolkiens four literary works;

5. In the alternative, to the extent that the Court were to adopt any meaning of the 1969 Agreements contrary to the contentions of plaintiffs, that the 1969 Agreements be reformed to provide the meaning represented by New Lines predecessor-in-interest and understod by plaintiffs and their predecessors-in-interest and/or the intent of the parties to the 1969 Agreement;
6. For an accounting between defendants and plaintiffs;
7. For payments over to plaintiffs of the amount due from defendants as a result of the accounting;
8. For imposition of a constructive trust over all monies due and owing to plaintiffs, and any benefits and income derived therefrom by New Line;

9. For intrest at the maximum legal rate; and

10. for costs of suit and such other and further relief as the courts shall deem proper.





......the document is signed and dated February 10, 2008.


**************


Phew!

So do you have any thoughts on what an outcome maybe regarding the 10 points listed?
How do you personally feel towards the situation - or how are you inclined to view the situation as a whole?
Do you feel strongly towards one side or the other, or are your thoughts divided on this matter, or are they mixed?
What do you think about the timing of this case coming to light?
What if any, ramifications can you see related to the trilogy and The Hobbit movies?
What other comments do you have on this situation ...

I will add my thoughts bit by bit in a further post Wink

Thanks for reading it through!
Cheers Elven


Amy Winehouse acquires Shire retreat for Summer ...


Amy Winehouse sells Shire retreat in Autumn ...


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Elven
Valinor


Feb 24 2008, 9:43pm

Post #12 of 15 (1719 views)
Shortcut
Some thoughts on the Lawsuit ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Feb 25 08

Im not sure in which order these things will be sorted in the Courts ... but
just some thoughts from me on all this:

That maybe things start with these points ...


Quote

4. For a declaration (by the Court), that plaintiffs are entitled to receive 7.5% of the Gross Receipts (after the Artificial Payment Levy is reached) as to any films based upon Professor Tolkiens four literary works;
And
5. In the alternative, to the extent that the Court were to adopt any meaning of the 1969 Agreements contrary to the contentions of plaintiffs, that the 1969 Agreements be reformed to provide the meaning represented by New Lines predecessor-in-interest and understood by plaintiffs and their predecessors-in-interest and/or the intent of the parties to the 1969 Agreement;



I feel that until a decision is made regarding a clarification of The 1969 Agreements by the Courts – it will be hard to determine some of the other factors in the case – especially relating to total gross revenues and what is owed to the Plaintiffs, and (as I see it) ‘all’ Gross Revenue Participants
...with special interest in the Two Towers, which New Line contest is calculated at 2.5% of Gross Profits after the 2.6 Levy has been reached.

In the case that the court viewing that The 1969 Agreements are in New Lines favour of the 2.5% Gross Profits, then I feel that the next step will be taken and that the Plaintiffs apply to the Courts to have the The Agreements amended to align (as they are requesting) the movie so that “The Two Towers’ would receive equal and proportional share of the gross profit, as the other literary works of Tolkien’s do.

Either way, I feel that The 1969 Agreement (at some future point) may be a hot point, and the plaintiffs may ask the courts to decide if they can heavily scrutinize it for any further potential loopholes that maybe exploited in the future – and have changes made ... regardless of whether New Line are relieved of the Agreement or not, by termination or cancellation (which is to be decided upon as well) ... and whoever’s hands The Agreements or any future version of the Agreements land it, I don’t think they will remain the same, though thats not to say that New Line don’t have a point somewhere which is contestable in there somewhere ... these agreements are old, but if its not The Agreements, then maybe it’s their contract with Zaentz or the levy is defined which is in question?

Personally, I find New Lines stance on their interpretation of their Agreement would require them to seek more advice on this point. Im sure its more ‘complicated’ than that, but it may take more than New Line Katjas assumption that their interpretation was right, and that the Plaintiffs have got this wrong ... and that the predecessors-in-interest were and have been wrong up until now. New Line may feel that it is their contract with Zaentz and Miramax that is contestable, but I’m not hedging bets that this will make an ounce of difference to the outcome of what the courts decide ... I think the courts will clarify the Agreements and decide in the favour of the Plaintiffs (just) in this instance and New Line will be responsible for paying the 7.5% ( or close to it) across the board for all the films, and this would mean an adjustment in all accounting practises and methods and alterations to the calculations New Line have had up until this time, regarding The Two Towers ... and that I think will enable the Plaintiffs to have the books opened by New Line as the responsibility would lay with New Line for the adjustment of the figures from 2.5% to 7.5% ... It maybe a way to get the audit in motion under the supervision of the Courts and the Plaintiffs ... and to me, the Two Towers would be the most interesting of the films accounting records and methods to audit, as I feel New Line would have borrowed (revenue) from the Fellowship of The Ring and crossed it over to make the Return of The King ...supposedly ... maybe .. anyway, I find it interesting, but it also sets a precedent for other people to be able to view the books and accounting practises as well, and this could open up a collective suit further down the track, depending on the findings from a new audit J

And due to the first Movie already being partially audited, there is a precedent in the practises of the accounting methods (to some degree) already laid out ... I am wondering if from the Two Towers it is easier to determine where all the revenue may have been spent, and ended up.

The ‘cooked books’ seems to be such a problem, as there are many people who have not been paid correctly – not just the Tolkien Estate ... if would be hard to determine all these figures and what everyone collectively is owed and need to be paid. I wonder if based on new finding relating to the reveue, this may prompt more people to try and get their money as well.


So maybe from this it could move to the next steps (depending on the above outcome) but even if there seems to be a dispute about the terms of the percentages ...


Quote

5. In the alternative, to the extent that the Court were to adopt any meaning of the 1969 Agreements contrary to the contentions of plaintiffs, that the 1969 Agreements be reformed to provide the meaning represented by New Lines predecessor-in-interest and understood by plaintiffs and their predecessors-in-interest and/or the intent of the parties to the 1969 Agreement;
6. For an accounting between defendants and plaintiffs;
7. For payments over to plaintiffs of the amount due from defendants as a result of the accounting;
8. For imposition of a constructive trust over all monies due and owing to plaintiffs, and any benefits and income derived therefrom by New Line;


(oops - excuse the bigger text there ... no intentional emphasis meant)


Possibly, New Line could try and shed its responsibility of accounting and practises and contract interpretations to Katja and to New Line’s legal advisors of the contract ...

It would take an ‘audit’ of some magnitude, to cross reference the accounting practises and methods which were used, and align them with the receipting and costs – by Katja (for the physical and actual production costs and producing the films) and to New Line for the monies gained by exploitation and ancillaries from the films and all distributions ...


How do you personally feel towards the situation - or how are you inclined to view the situation as a whole? What do you think will happen?


Firstly I think things remain positive for an outcome that the Movies will be made eventually, maybe not to the present schedule, nor under the same banner (New Line) but for the best possible outcome, I’d rather see people paid what they are due, and if that means that those custodians who have acted inappropriately or in an unlawful manner (to their contractual obligations) are brought to account for their actions, then it is a necessary consequence which is unavoidable, and needs to happen, not only to balance the books, but to cease the continuous rumours regarding the conduct and the behind the scenes rumblings. There needs to be no more doubt about the situation.


I also think this is the right time for this to be attended to, but I also think this maybe ruinous for New Line – though even at this point, I’m sure they feel that there is a magical solution which will fix this, like money. Money is the tool of compensation here as well as also paying what is due contractually, but partially I have the feeling that this is not just about money, nor could the lawsuit define in legal terms the personal tone that is attached to this, nor the underlying reasons for this to go ahead. The lawsuit to me has a sentimental flavour, and it couldn’t be more personal than the amount of ‘Tolkien’s’ that are listed as plaintiffs.

As this Lawsuit has come to light now, as much as New Line may want thing to just ‘go away’, this time it I doubt it will. They can’t make a move and they can’t find the legal loophole they need – that’s just my opinion, but this is a reasonable assessment, related to what is already known about New Line and their practises in actual terms. They have paid out monies to plaintiffs previously for the same accusations which in turn I see as a solid ground for the current proceedings to have come about. There is a confidence about the TE complaint and suit from the TE and lawyers. It has a trick or two up its sleeve I’m sure. This is just the initial phase as I see it – there’s more to come. To me, New Line seem to have been confronted with all this, while they are trapped in a dead end – and I think they will be exposed. I think they have tried to pull the wool over a few people’s eyes, but not this time, every move they make will be scrutinized from here on in, and yet, I still don’t see them ‘getting it’, nor understanding that further trying to cover this up is just adding to their complicated situation. I reckon they will deny much and admit to little. I can’t imagine the amount of anxiety some New Line/Katja/Warners people might be feeling about this.

So presently there’s been no comment from New Lines Representatives or Legal Team, but I suppose at this early stage, that’s not so surprising. I’m sure that there will be a press release, or some comment which will just outline that there things are in motion, maybe something will be leaked to us all about the situation. In the past, I think, New Line have been strategic with their comments – and with their replies, so I don’t trust that anything said won’t have some alternative motivation behind it. I don’t think this will change, it would be something which tries to put the ball back in the Estates Court, or try for a diversion to take the spot light off the current situation maybe, New ideas and new business plans about the way they will proceed (even with the Hobbit). I think New Line risks itself to believing their own deceptions. I still think they still think that they are the ones being ripped off – or at least that’s how they might play their cards. An unwise attempt to rectify the situation could see the whole thing backfire on them. It happens all the time to them – so that’s nothing new.

Maybe there are other though who would quite gladly hand over information to expose the truth in the matter. I cant seriously believe that this suit has come about without some sort of concrete or substantial in the way of evidence or paperwork or person coming forth, to even let the lawsuit go ahead ... but there’s got to be something out there which creates this type of confidence for the Tolkien Estate to take action on, besides the previous out of court settlement for Peter Jacksons company. I can’t believe also, that New Line have covered all their bases, otherwise there wouldn’t have been the need for them to wilfully destroy documents .. if there are hundreds of millions of dollars in question, then where did it all go, and to whom? You can account for money all you like, and make false claims and receipts all you like, but it doesn’t change the simpleton facts that it went somewhere – and not all those bases can be covered, even if it was the doings of ‘one’ person ... show me the money!! LOL!


On the surface of this almost polite complaint - I get the feeling that this is has huge ramifications to New Line. It could be there ending, whether it be self imposed, or forced to the point of restructuring. Warners seem to be heading New Line in that direction anyway, but looking at that situation now, with this new lawsuit (after Jacksons lawsuit) in the first progressive stages, I think things have been rushed to get the Hobbit underway, or at least announced, and the idea to fold New Line under the wings of Time Warner ... I wonder how this will be executed with all this going on ... it seems to have almost hastened New Lines demise and not prevented it from remaining independent. I’d be doing some head rolling (or retiring) just to get some of this out of the way. With this hanging overhead, it may have delayed such actions as well. You might have to cancel that long awaited holiday Bob ...

I also think part of the reason that the case has gone ahead from the Tolkien Estate is that there are outlines for the script – or that there is a script – there is something which has made them uncomfortable with the Hobbit one film and the second Hobbit film being announced. Either New Line look to gain considerably from the Hobbit as what is planned is good – or that it stinks. Im more inclined to think that with the announcement that Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are back on board would make it a prosperous proposal for New Line, but it also maybe due to the position that Peter and Fran hold on the Hobbit as Executive Producers ... a strategic placement for their role in the films – the guardians the overseers – but I’m not sure why that conclusion came about, and if Peter and Fran have been offered in their deal, some investment or Profit Share role in the Hobbit under new accounting practises, equations and circumstances ... maybe New Line see that as a benefit and an advantage for the Hobbit – a confidence booster to show that this time things will be OK - and maybe New Line are set (or were set) to announce new players at the helm of the company – it just didn’t happen in time. Though that’s not to say new people would be announced in place of Bob Shaye and Lynne whose contracts are due to be determined later in the year. Though if they are involved in this case, they will still have to answer to the courts in some manner – even if they are ‘absent’ it might be easier to get hold of documentation if they are out of the way – they seem like to bulldogs at the gate so far, for those trying to get information out of them.

I’m also not thinking that the Tolkien Estate will get what they want all the way through either, but if they are granted what they propose in these initial stages, which I think they partially will, then there will be enough to shake New Lines foundations for them to topple.

Im not sure how long before these things have to be attended to in court, or if there’s a date.
It would be nice to see at least something moving in one month’s time that would make it clear as to whats happening. Even now I do see much on the web in the way of support for New Line, and most people assume or have the opinion that not all is well. I believe the court will make a decision which is unfavourable to New Line ... I think this without a doubt. And I’m prepared as a fan, as I have said previously, for delays to the Hobbit.

I also assume that during this time, New Line would find it hard to be a fully functioning company. Possibly they have lost (or are about to lose) some investors and they are aware now, that making the Hobbit and the second movie may be in jeopardy, nor will they be trusted with the custody of the literary and future creative rights to use. That would be a substantial loss to them. I know that there is all this great fanfare about how ‘rich’ and fabulous New Line are, but I see this as being over inflated. If they owe so much money, their valuation, actual worth and potential is greatly reduced. If the judgement goes against them, and they are liable to the complaint, without the Hobbit in their stable, and their reputation marred, it might be a long way back for them, though they do have what seems to be some further ‘blockbuster’ film names planned.

To me, the monies mentioned by the TE claim are certainly small in comparison to what I believe the true figure is that they are going for, and what is owed to them. As I stated somewhere what I thought the true figure for the movies was (6 billion), but I believe it is more than that again still – maybe I left a ‘1’ out of the calculation J ... and thats just what this claim is asking for, Im sure if this gets a green light and the Estate is paid, a class action suit wouldn’t surprise me, for the rest of the people who would then be owed money. The balance of New Lines value would shift considerably if that happened.

I think overall New Line has left their fanbase down as well. Its all a bit disappointing to see this come about. New Line seemingly are defending themselves viciously while retreating – it is not us they will answer too, only the courts. I wonder what support there will be for any of this after the dust settles.

At the end of the day, Im not seeing that New Line will be able to get through this without something falling apart – even them. I think the Courts will favour the plaintiffs, and I think also that New Line won’t be able to just pay this one out – it will go through its course, and I don’t see New Line being around in the same context in the next 15 months. The court will rule in the plaintiffs favour on all accounts. This is a catastrophe in a sense – it leads to the total destruction of what has been set up. The Hobbit will be taken from them. New Line will fold in Time Warner – to be resurrected under new management and title.

I would hope the Hobbit falls eventually into the hands of someone who has the integrity to make the film the best it could possibly be, without complication.


What if any, ramifications can you see related to the trilogy and The Hobbit movies?

No Hobbit for now. Not with this looming. A delay, yes, 2015?
And possibly a hold on any new releases and versions of LOTR.

I have the feeling that New Line wouldn’t have been with the Hobbit for much longer anyway if they hadn’t announced that it was ‘happening’ in the window of time they needed to keep hold of it and see it as a viable proposition. Their rights to the option would have expired and the Hobbit returned to Zaentz – but even that may come into some jeopardy (the rights returning to the Zaentz) if he is found responsible in anyway of not keeping up some part of The Agreements and leasing the rights to the Tolkiens literary works out .. there maybe some backlash there.

I feel that the Tolkien Estate may be able to redraw up the Agreements and have them amended, but I don’t think they want to covert and not let the movies be made, but I do feel that they want to make sure their stake in the benefits is larger, both in money and some control.
The 1969 Agreements are old, and possibly need updating anyway – and to some degree, it maybe beneficial in terms of adding to them, and not subtracting to them – it may give leadway for other Tolkien works to be included – such as Christopher’s works – at least if that happened, all of Tolkiens works would be tied together, and Christopher may have some control over the material.
There are seemingly advantages to this – I just hope that if the cancellation does happen, and New Line are relieved of the Hobbit and the LOTR trilogies, that for the sake of the work, there are no more restrictions placed upon it.
Then again, if Zaentz was still entitled to hold the rights, or came in on this fray to be custodian of the rights again, I have the feeling the Hobbit would go ahead with Peter at the helm. Actually, I still think Peter will helm these movies, it not out of the question, and I have marked this opinion in other posts.

I think that the TE will gain back the Hobbit, but there could be restrictions and complications even with that, and maybe that is why production has started in a way. It’s complicated by the fact that Peter and Fran have already been named Executive Producers – it means that there is movement on the Hobbit, and Im not sure what that brings up in the way of halting it at this stage, or any stage. Maybe it has been halted or ‘suspended’ at the moment until they know what the options are. Why spend more money? Unless you want to dry up the bank quickly. Hope they’ve changed accounting practices in the meantime with the Hobbit from the trilogy ;)

The other aspect is that the trilogy maybe in danger of impact from this as well. If New Line lose the rights, then to whom does the trilogy in its completed form go to? Because the trilogy is tied up in this as well, not just the Hobbit movies. The way I read this is that they are not just talking about future rights of new movies, say using the Appendices from LOTR in the Hobbit, but any exploitation of the trilogy once the ruling is deemed. It may take some time to sort that out, as the films wouldn’t be able to be distributed, unless New Line were thinking Time Warner may help them out with this cross over. But that what I think the custody of the films is about as well – where do the films (trilogy) go whilst this is being sorted? The monies from films may be placed into a trust? Is that why this has been placed in the complaint as well?

“3. For a declaration that plaintiffs are entitled to terminate and cancel all future rights of New Line under the 1969 Agreements, including without limitation New Line's right to produce, distribute, and/or exploit future films based upon the Trilogy and/or the Films, as well as all rights to produce, distribute and/or exploit films based on The Hobbit, and without prejudice to the plaintiffs right to recover damages or to any other right or remedy of plaintiffs;”

“8. For imposition of a constructive trust over all monies due and owing to plaintiffs, and any benefits and income derived therefrom by New Line;”


So although there is leadway for the Hobbit to go ahead, none of the monies for the films maybe handled by New Line, but placed into a trust, and I’m guessing the accounting for that maybe tightened and be made independently away from New Lines accounting.
That’s when I see the Hobbit not benefitting from all this.

Part of the excitement has been to feel that it on its way. I doubt it will be in the next 4 years – but maybe 6-10 years.



What other comments do you have on this situation ...

In a nutshell ... the Tolkien Estate I think will win on these points ..

For a declaration that plaintiffs are entitled to receive 7.5% of the Gross Receipts (after the Artificial Payment Levy is reached) as to any films based upon Professor Tolkien’s four literary works;


For an accounting between defendants and plaintiffs;
For payments over to plaintiffs of the amount due from defendants as a result of the accounting;
For imposition of a constructive trust over all monies due and owing to plaintiffs, and any benefits and income derived therefrom by New Line;

For compensatory damages in excess of $150 million dollars;
For interest at the maximum legal rate; and
For punitive damages in an amount - sufficient to punish New Line , to set an example and deter further such wrongful behaviour;

For costs of suit and such other and further relief as the courts shall deem proper.


And I see these points as conditional, but still advantageous to the Claim, and to the Plaintiffs.

For a declaration that plaintiffs are entitled to terminate and cancel all future rights of New Line under the 1969 Agreements, including without limitation New Line's right to produce, distribute, and/or exploit future films based upon the Trilogy and/or the Films, as well as all rights to produce, distribute and/or exploit films based on The Hobbit, and without prejudice to the plaintiffs right to recover damages or to any other right or remedy of plaintiffs;

In the alternative, to the extent that the Court were to adopt any meaning of the 1969 Agreements contrary to the contentions of plaintiffs, that the 1969 Agreements be reformed to provide the meaning represented by New Lines predecessor-in-interest and understood by plaintiffs and their predecessors-in-interest and/or the intent of the parties to the 1969 Agreement.





Well thats my “What Say You Comment” so far J

Cheers
Elven





Amy Winehouse acquires Shire retreat for Summer ...


Amy Winehouse sells Shire retreat in Autumn ...


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Elven
Valinor


Feb 29 2008, 10:08am

Post #13 of 15 (1700 views)
Shortcut
So heads are rolling and New Line is being folded into Warner - Feb 29 08 [In reply to] Can't Post

Headlines: New Line in Warner's corner Company ends 40-year run as indie studio By DADE HAYES, DAVE MCNARY

Today brings news which I had a feeling may happen, ( I posted Monday about this event, and now it is Friday Aust time) and in consideration of the consequences which have now come to light relating to New Lines fate, I still see this as related to the Court case, but then again, the Court case I think was related to this outcome as well.

There's a hope for Peter Jackson to direct now - I just feel it - but down the line a bit. A lot of water has to pass under the bridge, but I have hope in this matter.

As for New Line, this is the first of the rumblings shaking the Tower.
They may fold into Warners, asking for some cover, but they still have to answer to the suit, though the suit may now need some adjustments, its another small delay.

I'll comment further later on, but for the moment, this is the News ....


The article from Variety
http://www.variety.com/...tegoryid=10&cs=1



Quote
The colorful 40-year run of New Line is coming to an abrupt end, costing the jobs of most of the company's 600 staffers.
The company -- home to "The Lord of the Rings," "Austin Powers," "Friday the 13th," "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Rush Hour," "The Mask" and "Boogie Nights" -- will be folded into Warner Bros. as a small genre arm.
But toppers Bob Shaye, who founded the company in his New York apartment, and Michael Lynne will not be part of the package.
No exact numbers have been divulged for how many of New Line's staffers will stay but the surviving entity will be a shell of its former self, refocusing on the horror, comedy and urban genre pics that helped put it on the map decades ago. Employees will attend meetings today in Los Angeles and New York to discuss future plans.
Time Warner said New Line would continue to have development, marketing, business affairs and some distribution operations but those will be cut severely. And New Line films will go out through Warner Bros. pipes after this weekend's "Semi-Pro."
Warner will likely make ample use of completed New Line pics since the usually prolific studio has dated only three pics for 2009.
New Line production prexy Toby Emmerich and distribution-marketing topper Rolf Mittweg are staying on for the time being and will report to Alan Horn and Barry Meyer. It's anticipated Emmerich will segue into a producing deal and be succeeded by chief operating officer Richard Brener.
The fate of Time Warner's specialty film divisions, Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures, wasn't addressed Thursday, but New Line's oversight of Picturehouse signals that the operations will also be consolidated.
Picturehouse prexy Bob Berney had no comment.
Time Warner CEO and president Jeff Bewkes wouldn't address other operations, but told Daily Variety the consolidation is "a move toward the label model," adding, "New Line will have its own voice, but focus on a smaller slate and franchises they have built. The main operation, the arms and legs, will be at Warner Bros." More than one option
Thursday's announcement -- a few minutes after the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange -- was not a complete surprise in the wake of Bewkes' first earnings call as TW chief on Feb. 6. Citing an industry shift toward fewer releases, he said cutbacks at New Line would be central to a plan to save $50 million annually.
Bewkes is under pressure to improve results companywide and budge a stagnant stock. He said New Line will stop its longstanding practice of selling off international rights to finance films as many of its output deals are due to expire.
"With the growing importance of international revenues, it makes sense for New Line to retain its international film rights and to exploit them through Warner Bros.' global distribution infrastructure," he added.
That switch was likely hastened by New Line's selling off foreign rights to the pricey "The Golden Compass," only to see it underperform domestically while delivering abroad. Final domestic cume was $70 million, while international gross has topped $260 million.
In a message to New Line staffers, Shaye and Lynne warned New Line will be much smaller.
"This was a painful decision, because we love New Line, and the people who work here have been like our second families," Shaye and Lynne said. "But we will be leaving the company with enormous pride in what all of us at New Line have accomplished together. From its humble beginnings 40 years ago, our studio has created some of the most popular and successful movies of all time."
The curtain fell just four years after "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" vaulted New Line to the pinnacle of the film biz. The third installment of the ultra-risky $270 million trilogy won the best picture Oscar and grossed $1.1 billion worldwide.
The three films together were a cultural event and the stuff of movie lore, bringing in billions in B.O. and merchandise. Rejected by other studios, Peter Jackson found a home for his JRR Tolkien obsession at New Line, which rolled the dice on an 18-month shoot in New Zealand by a helmer with no prior studio hits.
Since then, however, New Line had fallen on harder times. Its lone breakout post-"Rings" pic was "Wedding Crashers," which tallied $209 million in summer 2005. Its only solid performers since were "Rush Hour 3" and "Hairspray."
With the absence of hits came grim headlines. Shaye waged an expensive -- and ultimately unsuccessful -- legal fight against Jackson over gross receipts from the "Rings" pics. He also quarreled with favorite son Brett Ratner over back-end deals for "Rush Hour 3," an on-and-off project that finally came out last summer. And Shaye opted to take time out from running the company to direct "The Last Mimzy," a bland kidpic that grossed just $21.5 million last year.
In a major exec shift last year, New Line promoted Brener in a move seen as a signal that Brener might be Emmerich's eventual successor. Dominating its slate are mid-priced comedies such as "Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo"; "Sex and the City"; "He's Just Not That Into You" with Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Connolly; "The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" with Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner; and "Four Christmases" with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon.
The significant non-comedies on the upcoming slate: "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D," kid fantasy "Inkheart" and "Time Travelers Wife," with Rachel McAdams. Plans to release the year's films are at press time full steam ahead. Picturehouse titles include "Run Fat Boy Run," "Kitt Kittredge," with Abigail Breslin and "The Women," with Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Debra Messing.
A key New Line property, "The Hobbit," was stalled for years due to the court battle between Shaye and Jackson -- even though it represented a logical franchise extension of "The Lord of the Rings." Partly at the behest of MGM topper Harry Sloan (who owned half of "The Hobbit" rights and would not go forward unless Jackson was involved creatively), Shaye and Lynne buried the hatched with Jackson by settling the lawsuit a few months ago.
"The Hobbit" has Guillermo Del Toro in talks to direct, and the picture will be unaffected by the ouster of Shaye and Lynne. Though the films won't be scripted until a director is hired, and Jackson wraps "The Lovely Bones," the expectation is that the films will be ready for release for Christmas 2011 and 2012. Harry Potter will have wound down at WB by then, and the corporation will surely welcome another fantasy franchise that has an eager global audience waiting. New Line will distribute domestically, while MGM has international rights.
Thursday's announcement didn't address the fate of New Line's TV, homevid and legit operations.
On the small screen, New Line TV has seen mixed results, earning praise for scripted fare like Fox's "Kitchen Confidential," but mostly sticking with reality entries. In March, WE: Womens Entertainment is slated to bow "High School Confidential," a documentary series about 14 teenage girls as they navigate high school; TV Land is on board this July with "Family Foreman," which focuses on the life of George Foreman and his family.
New Line has a separate marketing and sales operation for home entertainment; Warner has long handled physical distribution of DVDs.
New Line originally trafficked in a checkered mix of auteur films like Godard's "Sympathy for the Devil" and midnight movies like "Reefer Madness" and early John Waters fare. After years of hand-to-mouth existence, the company reached a new level of stability thanks to the 1980s homevid boom and the startling $25.5 million take from slasher pic "Nightmare on Elm Street" in 1984.
Having survived brushes with insolvency, the company became expert at serving the teen and twentysomething aud, pioneering the use of street teams and campus screenings. After "Nightmare" came profitable franchises like "House Party," "Friday," "Blade," "Austin Powers" and "Rush Hour."
With its newfound success came two acquisitions -- one by Ted Turner, the other by Time Warner -- that made Shaye a billionaire.
The company's current woes mirror the time just before "Rings" hit the jackpot. Emboldened by its great run in the 1990s under wunderkind production chief Michael De Luca, New Line made profligate choices with Adam Sandler's "Little Nicky" and Warren Beatty starrer "Town & Country."
(Winter Miller in New York and Pamela McClintock, Michael Fleming and Michael Schneider in Hollywood contributed to this report.) More than one option






I remember posting this August 11th 07 about the heads rolling ... this was prior to Petes court case being settled ...
the full posts and what I was answering to, is in a thread above...


Quote

'Wrenching" ... how subtle ....how does 'Destruction' sound? I think New Line is in a bad way and the foundations are starting to shift, if not crumble. NL might be restructured from the ground up ... as I said once before ... heads are going to roll - it all depends which ones, and I tthink other will jump ship - but it sounds as if its already happening ... and Time Warner and the owners of the Axe as I see it ... though I feel its a rather untrustworthy situation. What does it mean for the Hobbit if Shaye's contract is not renewed? I wondered who has the option of renewal? Him, New Line or its something that has to be negotiated evenly ...What about an early retirement for him ... or at least bowing out gracefully, then to take up other options like either starting another company or buying New Line (if TW sold or cut it up)




Quote

Wonder what the shares are worth at the current market downturn - I wonder how this effects new productions, salaries and projects? and how much money will be available soon - I wonder if there will be budget considerations as to which movies to invest with ...

Is New Line ripe to buy out? It would be if it was in a mess - Im sure they could get it for a good price if its on the skids. Run the company that you chair into the ground ... make this close to the time you are about to bow out ... buy it ... have your first production as the Hobbit ... and clean up ...
If New Line change hands, Im sure having a lawsuit still hanging over their head (on sale) drops the price and changes the playing field a bit ... Im not Lawyer, but I wonder if this is relevant?

I reckon Shaye/Lynne might divorce themselves from New Line - buy it at the Fire Sale - reorganise it, - and then partner up to buy New Line back - especially if it was cut up. (Good if Pete had some form of compensation)




posted last Monday .... in relation to the complaint - though the full post is above in this thread ...

Quote

On the surface of this almost polite complaint - I get the feeling that this is has huge ramifications to New Line. It could be there ending, whether it be self imposed, or forced to the point of restructuring. Warners seem to be heading New Line in that direction anyway, but looking at that situation now, with this new lawsuit (after Jacksons lawsuit) in the first progressive stages, I think things have been rushed to get the Hobbit underway, or at least announced, and the idea to fold New Line under the wings of Time Warner ... I wonder how this will be executed with all this going on ... it seems to have almost hastened New Lines demise and not prevented it from remaining independent. I’d be doing some head rolling (or retiring) just to get some of this out of the way. With this hanging overhead, it may have delayed such actions as well. You might have to cancel that long awaited holiday Bob ...





Im going to take a wander over some other posts to other threads where I have commented on this situation ... and come back to it.
This is the beginning of a new stage, though there's more restructuring to be done yet, by the way I see it.


Cheers Elven x


Amy Winehouse acquires Shire retreat for Summer ...


Amy Winehouse sells Shire retreat in Autumn ...


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Elven
Valinor


Mar 1 2008, 3:11am

Post #14 of 15 (1725 views)
Shortcut
Some thoughts on the Warners New Line and the TE suit. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm just placing these thought here I made on another thread ... so I dont have to reword them here ...
they're about the New Line Warners and the law Suit relating to what happens to the Hobbit movie ...
I posted them in buckyunderbellys thread ...http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?do%3Dpost_view_flat%3Bsb%3Dpost_time%3Bso%3DDESC%3Bpost%3D78185=View+Flat+Mode

Buckies thread ...

Quote

Hi all. A friendly spy friend of mine who happens to work somewhere within the bowels of Time Warner just forwarded me an e-mail the whole company just received from TW president Jeff Bewkes letting them know that New Line will in fact be folded into Warner.

I've cut and pasted the body of the e-mail below for your inspection ...



Quote

This afternoon, we announced that New Line will be operated as a unit of Warner Bros. New Line will continue to retain its own brand identity and will maintain separate development, production, marketing, distribution, and business affairs operations, but it will now coordinate those functions with Warner Bros.

The combination should strengthen our company’s filmed entertainment business by combining New Line with Warner Bros.’ industry-leading position and global reach. New Line has a proud 40-year legacy of producing creative, cutting-edge entertainment. That will continue. But, given trends in the industry toward fewer movie releases, the importance of a coordinated strategy for the international and digital distribution of filmed entertainment, and the need to continue to make sure that we’re running our businesses as efficiently as possible, it made sense for us to combine our studios’ infrastructures.

Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, the Co-Chairs and Co-CEOs of New Line, have chosen to leave the company, but we’re in discussions about possible future business relationships. Bob and Michael have a unique partnership that is noteworthy not only for its longevity, but also for its record of innovation and success. They have guided New Line’s growth from a privately-held art film distributor to the world’s leading independent film studio – home to such popular films as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Mask, Austin Powers, Blade, Rush Hour, Elf, Wedding Crashers and Hairspray. I thank Bob and Michael for their enduring contributions to Time Warner and look forward to working with them in the future.

This consolidation will also result in changes, including the elimination of jobs at New Line. Warner Bros. is currently working through the details and will let people know how the changes affect them as soon as possible. Colleagues whose jobs are eliminated will be treated fairly and respectfully. These are very difficult decisions, but they’re important for the future success of our film studios and our company.

As always, thank you for your hard work and support as our company moves forward. I’ll continue to keep you updated on our progress.







and my reply ...

Quote

I think this move has alot to do with the lawsuit - and things may have not been as such, if it didnt come about.

This all comes as no surprise. Warner has taken in New Line to protect what New Line already has, and with that responsibility, I think it includes the lawsuit as well – that just doesn’t go away. Though it complicates things as I see it, mainly towards hold-ups, and re-routing the lawsuit to accommodate any new changes with New Lines structure into Warners. And yes, I think the Tolkien Estates legal team got in before this all happened – knowing that changes were going to be made, maybe not knowing exactly what those changes were, but waiting for the decision for Peters suit to be finalized, with some decision made, before they could proceed.
The lawsuit defendants aren’t just New Line. There is Katja as well, New Lines accounting arm, and presently, depending on the courts decisions, those that were accountable at Katja are yet to be named. Theres a process in itself.
For the Tolkien team to feel compensated completely and be returned what is due, there will need to be some form of audit. The TE are asking for much more than 150 million – much much more. There is a request for compensation to deter NL from doing this again, interest on whats owed at the end of the day after the audit, plus court costs. That alot! The 150 million is just a benchmark to start the proceedings and can be adjusted to suit the absolute figures. And just 6 billion in receipted figures? No, I think its more – alot more.
It maybe suitable for New Line to be under the banner of Warners, presently, but that may be to bring confidence relating to ‘The 1969 Agreements’ if there are question about the integrity and the ability of any further of Tolkiens works being used. ... if the Courts decide to enable the TE to ‘up-date’ them (The Agreements), and bring them into line, without taking them from New Line, they maybe transferred over to Warners in some way. Yet New Line contest the Agreements as they are isn’t helping to smooth that process. In a round about way, It is New Line who are saying that the Agreements are in their favour over the TT, and so to get that sorted and in their favour for a 2.5% decidion on the TT to go to NL, the Agreements have to contested. It is part of NL strategy.
Maybe if NL concede that they were wrong and do owe 7.5% instead of 2.5%, it may help, but it also will need the books to be opened to readjust any figures.
If the Courts allow this to be looked into, then there is an audit – and after the way that NL has already been caught out with FOTR accounting, its hard to say that the TE are out of line asking for these requests – such as the money, and to strip NL of any further and future association with production, and distribution, and exploitation of not only the Hobbit, but LOTR as well.

So the move which see’s Lynne and Shaye’s contracts not being renewed at this time, is no surprise either. That’s been on the cards for a while. I’m also concerned that Warners move to downsize, and make redundant NL staff is also a complication that holds things up with the lawsuit and the Hobbit, unless the Courts don’t favour the TE requests for a decision to be made – which I think on some points is highly unlikely. Warners need the Hobbit, and New Line, at this stage still have it in their stable.

We could say that none of this is relevant to the Hobbit, but throughout the past couple of years, it has all been relevant and time consuming. But this strategy by Warner regarding New Line I think seems to streamline things somewhat. I think the Hobbit ‘Movie’ process has started, otherwise Peter and Fran would not have announced their positions on the matter – so things are moving – are that was a strategic move by New Line to keep the Hobbit in their stable before its ’lease’ ran out and converted back to Zaentz. And the Tolkien Estate knew of the Hobbit outlines (fully scripted or not) or at least saw the Hobbit as greenlit in some way.

At this stage I think the Lawsuit will go ahead, with some adjustment, as what’s just happened with New Line and Warners has changed things momentarily, but there might be another way to proceed with it. I bet the lawyers are earning their pay at the moment. It wouldn’t surprise me if some offer was laid on the table from one party to the other (NL to the TE), but I cant see this being reasonable nor sensible for the TE to take – they have a pretty keen resolution to get their way, and I think if one over-rode the other, its about the change to the Agreements which is in their best interests to persue.

As for Shaye and Lynne, I dont think its out of the question that they could start something else up, or move to Cuba for an extended holiday ... where did Ronnie Biggs go for all that time? Wink Brazil?

Cheers Elven x





Ive had some other thoughts on this, and asked people to reply to this post - so feel welcome to join in and have your say about the matters - and what you think might happen from this point onwards ....

Cheers Elven.


Amy Winehouse acquires Shire retreat for Summer ...


Amy Winehouse sells Shire retreat in Autumn ...


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"


Elven
Valinor


Mar 2 2008, 3:23am

Post #15 of 15 (1728 views)
Shortcut
What Say You? ...The Letter from Shaye about his departure to staff ... [In reply to] Can't Post

This letter was posted on the boards by Diedye, and I made reply to it in the Main thread ... just putting it here to keep things up to date ...
If you have any comments please post Smile



Posted from Diedye on Main:
adress on Main: http://newboards.theonering.net/...78606=View+Flat+Mode
This is the internal letter that went out to all staffers regarding the company's & their future...


Quote
February 28, 2008
To: New Line Colleagues
From: Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne
Subject: Our Company
This afternoon, Time Warner is announcing that New Line will become a unit of Warner Bros. This is, of course, a very difficult and emotional time for all of us who have worked at New Line. While there is not much we can say that can lessen the impact of this announcement, we did want you to know about the decision before you read about it in the press.
New Line will maintain its own identity and will continue to produce, market, and distribute movies. But New Line will now do so as part of Warner Bros. and will probably be a much smaller operation than in the past. Time Warner hopes that operating New Line as a unit of Warner Bros. will allow New Line to focus on the creative side of movie-making, while reducing costs and taking advantage of Warner Bros.' distribution systems. The company will be holding group meeting with New Line employees tomorrow in Los Angeles and New York to discuss this announcement, and is committed to letting employees know as soon as possible about how this change affects them individually.
For our part, we will be stepping down as Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOS of New Line. This was a painful decision, because we love New Line and the people who work here have been like our second families. But we will be leaving the company with enormous pride in what all of us at New Line have accomplished together. From its humble beginnings 40 years ago, our studio has created some of the most popular and successful movies of all time. Those movies are a tribute to the amazing creative energy and entrepreneurial abilities of the talented people at New Line. They are a legacy that will endure forever.
Although we are stepping out of New Line, we intend to remain actively involved in the industry in an entrepreneurial capacity, and will keep you advised of developments.
We thank all of you who have worked so hard to make New Line such a success. We are very proud of every one of you.
Bob & Michael


Wow... as much as I deplored Bob Shaye for he did what he did, I can't help feeling sad when I read this e-mail, sad for the workers who will be laid off because of this and sad for the company's history. What a way to go. Frown



****************************************************************************************



My reply:
Thanks for posting the letter diedye.

If it is any consolation, they went out with one last hurrah, it was to secure the Hobbit into the fold, and their accomplishments in the industry no-doubt, see them as names which will be remembered and even talked about for a long time. Weather there is praise or damnation, they have made their mark.

As for them moving onwards and upwards, that has been expected as well, yet maybe theres a break in between before hedging their talents back into the market. If the court case goes ahead, it might find them delayed for a time - and to me I think it would be hard to determine which way to go with some certainty until the Law suit is decided.


Quote

For our part, we will be stepping down as Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOS of New Line. This was a painful decision, because we love New Line and the people who work here have been like our second families.


So here in this statement I see they have 'stepped down' before their contracts have expired. The restructuring of New Line has pushed this decision forward, weather it be made by Warners or Shaye and Lynne themselves for their departure. What ever the decision was and how it came about, presently the responsibility of them leaving their New Line has been placed in their court and as their decision. It doesn't seem to mention anything about Warner 'push' for their departure in this letter, but it doesn't say they didn't

Though rumour surrounding their being 'dumped' was mentioned and reported recently by Nikki Finkes. This report was dated the 6th of Feb 08, and in between this happening on the 11th of Feb the Tolkien Estate made their complain official through the courts. But proir to this on the 21st of January Finke also stated that Warner were talking about taking NL into their fold and releasing Shaye and Lynne of their positions at NL.

Nikki Finkes report 21st Jan 08

Quote
EXCLUSIVE: I'm told that New Line Cinema founders Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are meeting with Jeff Bewkes this week to talk about their contracts which expire this year. Sources say it's virtually certain that the studio pair will be shown the door. I hear this isn't coming as a surprise to Shaye or Lynne, either: they're expecting the new Time Warner chief to end their tenure at the studio they founded in 1967, sold to Ted Turner's Turner Broadcasting System in 1994, and brought under Time Warner's control in 1996 ......




Nikki Finke wrote: 06th Feb 08


Quote
In a conference call with analysts today, CEO Jeff Bewkes said Time Warner plans companywide cost cuts and specifically mentioned that its New Line Cinema movie studio is ripe for expense reductions. News reports said Bewkes stated that changes in the film industry leave less purpose for New Line. I reported last month that sources told me New Line co-founders Bob Shaye's and Michael Lynne's contracts wouldn't be renewed by Bewkes and that the studio would either be folded into Warner Bros or sold altogether to someone like Terry Semel. My latest info is that when Bewkes met with the New Line pair to deliver the bad news, the twosome pushed back and told Bewkes they would put together a plan for reorganization that would save the company a lot of money in exchange for a contract extension that leaves them as co-heads of the studio. But Bewkes isn't interested in that scenario.




Warners (IMHO) are setting up the chess board prior to the game. It just looks strategic - for a few reasons ... to get New Line under Warner control as soon as possible, and to start monies rolling in, to deter any further allagations of missmanagement under the Shaye/Lynne banner, and to boost or float the resources they already have in waiting for future projects.

Yet the part regarding Shayes and Lynnes plans to re-organize New Line and save the company alot of money under their control hasn't seemed to work as a ploy to keep them there - possibly their reorganizational plans were no less than whats actually happened, but I dont see them staying in their positions raising the confidence of any investors, or intrest in NL if Shaye and Lynne are at the helm of financial restructuring after the hideous legal financial situations with Jackson and LOTR overall. And this may also have been picked up by the Tolkien Estate, (or even known by them) and is why everything has been strategically moved on - like a giant shove out the door. I think Shaye and Lynne lost much of their credibility over the past 3 years, so this 'stepping down' is more a 'fall from grace' as I see it.

Yet in the letter which was sent to staff (which was posted by BuckyUnderbelly) during the week, it seems Warner have some intention (even if its just on paper) for Bob Shaye and Michael ynne to still have a presence and some form of involvemnet relating to projects.


Quote

Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, the Co-Chairs and Co-CEOs of New Line, have chosen to leave the company, but we’re in discussions about possible future business relationships.....

I thank Bob and Michael for their enduring contributions to Time Warner and look forward to working with them in the future.



Im not sure in what capacity this would work ... Im being synical here ... but maybe they could be put into the accounting department and find all those receipts while they have some time on their hands ... maybe their memories about where all that money went will come back to them.


Concerning the Hobbit though ...
I think the plan to take NL under the Warner wing would bring about a better quality movie, certainly technically as the digital and advanced era of making movie is starting to come through and be excepted. The movie, without the support and access that Warners can give it, may have floundered, but I think it puts the Hobbit in a better position for a better quality outcome (if and when) things move forward with it.

So I wonder how this now effects the contractual placements of 'the Agreement' between New Line/Warners and Saul Zantz/Miramax. I wonder if this has to be altered in some way after the restructuring - though by the sounds of things NL will work at what its being doing in a smaller capacity than before, with Warners oversight ... not so independeant than an arm or 'unit' of Warners ...


Quote

New Line will maintain its own identity and will continue to produce, market, and distribute movies. But New Line will now do so as part of Warner Bros. and will probably be a much smaller operation than in the past. Time Warner hopes that operating New Line as a unit of Warner Bros. will allow New Line to focus on the creative side of movie-making, while reducing costs and taking advantage of Warner Bros.' distribution systems.



Its all very interesting indeed!


Cheers Elven


Amy Winehouse acquires Shire retreat for Summer ...


Amy Winehouse sells Shire retreat in Autumn ...


Tolkien was a Capricorn!
The Hobbit!!
Its a Happening Thing!!

Russell Crowe for Beorn

Sauruman: "Do know how the fan girls/boys first came into being? ... they were Tolkien scholars once ... Taken by the Dark Director, tempted to hold moots & dress up like Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves and Wizards ... A ruined & terrible form of life, not to mentions bad grades ... and now perfected at TORN ...
Whom do you serve!"

 
 

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