Tolkien estate settles Lord of the Rings suit
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 | 1:25 PM ET
The charity in charge of J.R.R. Tolkien's estate and publisher HarperCollins have settled a lawsuit concerning rights payments for New Line's blockbuster Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.
The parties issued a brief statement Tuesday noting that all sides have come to an agreement. However, details of the settlement remained confidential.
"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 author's son, Christopher Tolkien, said in a statement.
The Tolkien Trust and HarperCollins filed the suit against production company New Line in Los Angeles in February 2008, claiming they were owed more than $150 million US in compensation.
The suit claimed that New Line failed to make the promised payments it had pledged in return for the rights to produce film adaptations of Tolkien's iconic Lord of the Rings novel trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
The plaintiffs had also threatened to revoke the studio's rights to proceed on its forthcoming two-part movie adaptation of the earlier story, The Hobbit.
With the settlement, "the trustees acknowledge that New Line may now proceed with its proposed films of The Hobbit," Christopher Tolkien said.
Alan Horn, president and chief operating officer of New Line's parent company, Warner Bros., added that all parties "look forward to a mutually productive and beneficial relationship in the future."
New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson, the award-winning writer and director behind New Line's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, is slated to executive produce and co-write the script for both The Hobbit films.
Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has signed on to co-write and direct the films, which had tentatively been set for release in December 2011 and December 2012.
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