Looks like New Line has to take lessons on how to pay one's debt. After forgetting to give Peter Jackson some royalties that were due to him for one of the Lord of the Rings installments -- something that is being worked out as we speak -- we are now told that J.R.R. Tolkien has risen from the grave to collect what's his.
Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien Files Lawsuit Against New Line Cinema
The estate of J.R.R. Tolkien has filed a lawsuit against New Line for failing to pay the required 7.5% of gross receipts from ticket and DVD sales for Lord of the Rings. When the entity should have collected millions upon millions against the $6 billion that the trilogy earned worldwide, The Tolkien Trust claims to have only received $62,500 for the three movies.
The plaintiffs seek more than $150 million in compensatory damages, unspecified punitive damages and a court order giving the Tolkien estate the right to terminate any rights New Line may have to make films based on other works by the author, including The Hobbit.
Yes, you heard correct, The Hobbit -- now back on track with Peter Jackson at least producing in some manner -- might have just hit another roadblock.
If The Tolkien Trust gets its way, all plans for a two-installment prequel based on The Hobbit will have to be scuttled. Like Peter Jackson, it would seem that New Line would not allow The Tolkien Trust to perform an audit on the receipts of the last two Rings films.
While I partially understand the hostility from Tolkien's crew, I doubt the author would approve of having an adaptation scuttled over some skrilla. Wishful thinking, I know.