Christopher Tolkein to try and shut down The Hobbit
The courtroom saga surrounding New Line Cinema and Christopher Tolkein looks to be far from over. J.R.R. Tolkein's son is taking them to court to try and stop the The Hobbit and it's sequel from being made.
The news comes just after Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson held a web chat on the two films. Just coincidence?
The differences have been ongoing for a while now, earlier this year the Tolkein estate sued the studio for missing gross profit payments from the Lord of The Rings films.
Having failed in that attempt, The Hobbit got underway and as we know Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson are on board. During their webchat at the weekend they were asked about Christopher Tolkein's feelings on the new films:
Christopher Tolkien did not wish to be involved in the LOTR movies and I would assume his feelings are the same with these two films. I totally respect him for that since he is looking after the legacy of his father’s books and does not wish to be involved in someone else’s interpretation of those stories.
Well it seems Christopher Tolkein not only doesn't want to be involved but doesn't want anyone else involved either. Times Online through Cinema Blend say he is bringing a new lawsuit against New Line Cinema, and he wants not only £80 million, but to stop production on The Hobbit as well. The court case is scheduled for June 6th.
This could turn out to be just another stumbling block on the way to The Hobbit films being made. However the second film will be based on the collection of notes that J.R.R. Tolkein made on the Middle Earth universe. The collection of notes was incomplete when he died, and was finished and published by Christopher Tolkein. The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-earth were all edited by Christopher Tolkein, so surely it's best to keep him happy.
With Peter Jackson having has his own dispute with New Line Cinema over money, it could well be that Christopher Tolkein has a point. And I also think you can't knock the guy if he is opposed to the films as he's trying to protect his father's work. However, rumour has it he hasn't seen any of the films, so how can he object so much?
I don't know the legal ins and outs of who owns what rights when it comes to the other material, and hopefully this will all be resolved. But if the Tolkein estate was to deny them access to the extra material, could we see a second Hobbit film created entirely by Del Toro and Jackson? Would you prefer that to no second film at all?