Back in July, it was revealed that the family of author J.R.R. Tolkien was suing New Line Cinema and possibly stopping director Guillermo del Toro and producer Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit from happening. The report stated that when Tolkien sold the rights to his properties, the agreement included a 7.5% income off anything based on the titles, including movies. This translated to roughly $220 Million after the Lord of the Rings trilogy pulled down a coin or two at about $6 Billion worldwide.
After an offer here, a gripe there, and likely a pile of discussions, it has now been announced that this lawsuit has reached a settlement, and all is good in the lands of Middle Earth. Though the owed amount was at the said $220 Million, it appears that the family settled for around $100 Million in the end. This has to be looked at as a rather successful ordeal for New Line, who possibly saved $100-ish Million themselves — an amount that most believed was fairly owed.
Here’s what Christopher Tolkien — youngest son of J.R.R. — had to say about the arduous ordeal:
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 Hobbit will be presented in two parts, with releases planned for December of 2011 and December of 2012. A movie bridging the Hobbit time to the Lord of the Rings time was planned, and could still happen eventually, but for now, it has been replaced by the second part.