08/09/2009. Contributed by Jessica Martin
New Line Cinema, the Tolkien Trust and HarperCollins have, we are told, settled the legal battle over the rights to the Lord of the Rings movies. Way now clear for the new Hobbit film to be made by Peter Jackson. Little furry-footed people everywhere celebrate.
The dispute went legal in February 2008, when HarperCollins (also the publishers of Stephen Hunt's Jackelian series, we should note), and the JRR Tolkien Estate launched a joint claim for the large amounts of money they weren't getting from the Lord of the Rings films that came out between 2001 and 2003.
Warner Brothers' President Alan Horn said, "We deeply value the contributions of the Tolkien novels to the success of our films and are pleased to have put this litigation behind us. We all look forward to a mutually productive and beneficial relationship in the future."
Christopher Tolkien told SFcrowsnest, "The Trustees regret that legal action was necessary, but are glad that this dispute has been settled on satisfactory terms that will allow the Tolkien Trust properly to pursue its charitable objectives. The Trustees acknowledge that New Line may now proceed with its proposed films of The Hobbit."
The precise terms of the settlement, the Nest is told, are confidential.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA