So here is the deal J.R.R. Tolkien sold the movie rights to his Lord Of The Rings novels 40 years ago for 7.5 per cent of future receipts. Considering how popular the movies have been not a bad deal. However, isn’t there always a however, three films and six billion dollars later, his heirs say they haven’t seen a cent from Time Warner.
So Hi Ho, Hi Ho, its off to court they go! New Line Cinema, the Time Warner unit that made the films, will face a jury’s scrutiny in October, when the heirs’ lawsuit against the New York media company is set for trial.
If the case is not settled before it will be interesting to see what kind of accounting Time Warner used lol. The litigation also threatens to derail two Hobbit films, that, if their predecessors are a guide, could generate $4 billion in sales.
"Usually it’s not outright thievery by the studios, but death by contract," Pierce O’Donnell, a lawyer, said. "It’s an esoteric world where black doesn’t mean black, and white doesn’t necessarily mean white." Tolkien’s family and a charity it heads, the Tolkien Trust, are seeking $220 million.