The War of the Rings has ended.
After a long drawn-out legal battle, New Line Cinema and the Tolkien Estate have finally settled their dispute, which means the movie studio can finally go ahead and get started on making the two Hobbit movies.
The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
But as the kids today are so fond of saying, this equals WIN.
So what was this all about? in 2008, the heirs of J.R.R. Tolkien sued New Line Cinema (the makers of The Lord of the Rings films), claiming they were owed a rather large chunk of change ($220 million), considering the three-movie masterpiece has made a reported $6 billion dollars (and counting). Furthermore, the lawsuit attempted to block the studio from adapting Tolkien’s other famous novel, The Hobbit, even though the film has long been in pre-production, with director Guillermo Del Toro at the helm.
Now olive branches have been extended, dotted lines have been signed upon, and the geek community can collectively sigh a big geeky sigh of relief.
But do we really have to? Here’s the funny thing about this lawsuit: no one really thought it was going to prevent the Hobbit movies from happening. Sure, it may have delayed the movies a bit, but even that seemed unlikely. The fact of the matter is there was still so much money to be made from Tolkien’s genius, and when a big studio like Warner Brothers (who owns New Line) wants money, they get money.
For better or for worse, those damn Hobbit films were always going to be made.
Best remark made so far? That would have to go to Alan Horn, the president and COO of Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc., who said, “We deeply value the contributions of the Tolkien novels to the success of our films and [blah blah blah].”
Good thing they have those novels to contribute to their films’ success. Someone should explain to him that without the novels there would be no films at all.
Well, that’s all behind us. Now if only the production team could agree on who’s actually cast in the films.