The Hobbit on Its Way to There and Back Again

New Line settles up with J.R.R. Tolkien's estate over Lord of the Rings profits, clearing way for The Hobbit

By Natalie Finn Sep 08, 2009 9:30 PMTags
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Now that the Tolkien Trust is sitting pretty, it's time to get Bilbo Baggins out of his Hobbit hole and over the Edge of the Wild.

The Hobbit's path to big-screen glory is even clearer now that New Line Cinema has settled a lawsuit brought by J.R.R. Tolkien's estate over—what else?—profits from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Details of the settlement were not available, but HarperCollins Publishers and Tolkien's trustees (and Peter Jackson, once upon a time) had accused New Line of being a real Burglar.

The lawsuit alleged that the studio owed the plaintiffs millions of dollars (7.5 percent of the profits) from tickets, DVD sales and merchandise, which over the years have amounted to about $6 billion.

"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," said Alan Horn, president and chief operating officer of New Line parent Warner Bros. "We all look forward to a mutually productive and beneficial relationship in the future."

The Tolkien Trust, which is a registered U.K. charity, says it plans to put the money toward more good works.

So now perhaps we're finally looking at a real, live green light for the two-part epic prequel, The Hobbit, with Jackson on as executive producer and Guillermo del Toro directing. The reliably creative duo are also penning the scripts together.

Though there's plenty of casting to be done, we at least know that Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will be there when the cameras start rolling.


We can't show you yet what The Hobbit movies are going to look, but we can give you glimpses of a bunch of other Movies From the Future!