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Having finished the Forum early today, I went looking for info concerning the long proposed movie of 'The Hobbit'. I couldn't find anything newer than from August 2007.

New Line still holds the rights, but it looks like they must get moving with a 2009 release deadline or lose those rights.

New Line has been quietly negotiating behind the scenes trying to hire Peter Jackson, who is still holding out pending payment of money he says New Line still owes him for the LOTR film trilogy.

Ian McKellen was still interested in doing the role of Gandalf.
If this does not work out I shall always hold Newline responsible. It would not kill th em to pay up and if I were Peter I would have a battery of lawyers for the next contract so that I would not be shafted again. Oh I wish they would just get on with it. It is past time we all settled in and watched another journey into Middle-Earth. And even Ian does not grow younger.
On the plus sides with a film of The Hobbit they could pretty much include everything in the book. With LOTR it was simply too much to cram (anyone else see the connection with this word?) into three films.
So that should give it accuracy, lastly I just hope they have the same Gandalf and Bilbo as they did in the last film.
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I just hope they have the same Gandalf and Bilbo as they did in the last film.
Gandalf probably, Bilbo possibly not. It might be harder to turn an elderly Sir Ian Holm into a young hobbit, he is 76 after all. Yes they did it in the Fellowship, but he didn't have many action scenes in that movie; I can't see him climbing into the treetops looking at black flutterbys or to rescue Dwarves from the spiders.
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Gandalf probably, Bilbo possibly not. It might be harder to turn an elderly Sir Ian Holm into a young hobbit, he is 76 after all.

Bilbo was 50 when he embarked on the journey, and when Gandalf saw the rascal again 61 years later he noticed how he had not aged a day - hence Bilbo should not look different than in the beginning of FOTR movie.

But, indeed, the fact that 50-year old Frodo looks like a 16-year old in the film, whilst Bilbo who "didn't age a day since he was 50" looks 60-70 in FOTR movie, is ludicrous.

Of course PJ didn't care about the time and made it look like the entire War of the Ring was over in two weeks, but still it is a point that needs to be made.
I think we can say it is the 33-year old Frodo which looks like a 16-year old. None of the hobbits aged a day during the 17 years between the party and when Frodo starts his journey, it looked more like 27 days. Or less. I can't remember if they mention Frodos age at all? So from the movies' point of view, sir Ian might have a chance...
But is a 76 year young actor sprightly enough to play the part of Bilbo in The Hobbit Movie?
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But is a 76 year young actor sprightly enough to play the part of Bilbo in The Hobbit Movie?

Maybe so ( If he live long enough), we all what difference MAKEUP can do and I'm sure they'll use stand-in as well
Anyone here read the LOTR first (as an adult) and then read the Hobbit later? It can be a huge disappointment to those expecting more LoTR. I hope, if a Hobbit movie is made, that it's marketed properly -- to children -- and not sold to adults looking for the same kind of complex storyline as in the trilogy of films. (Believe it or not, there are plenty of movie people who haven't read any of the books!)
That last bit is true Elanorraine, we need to tell them how much they have missed by not reading the books.

I saw New Line's two High Mucky-mucks on Charlie Rose's TV program, I think it was Thursday night, and they said they still hadn't given up on Peter Jackson for The Hobbit Movie director, but that there were plenty of other directors out there who could do the story justice.

I heard of an interview with Viggo (Aragorn) and he said that if he was asked to play the part of Aragorn in The Hobbit, he would gladly accept it without hesitation... The only way though that he would be able to be in the movie, would be to have the story be a sort of expanded prologue to the Lord of the Rings... Where Aragorn was at that time, some back bone history at the time of Bilbo's adventure...

Also, Orlando Bloom wanted the part of Thranduil, it would probably confuse, but would still let you feel like it was just the same style as LOTR, like the story would never end... If he DID get that part, then I suggest that John Rhys-Davies play the part of Gloin... Have the LOTR characters play their fathers in the prologue... Could add a twist?
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Where Aragorn was at that time, some back bone history at the time of Bilbo's adventure...

Hiding behind his mother's skirt: the lad was ten years old at the time.

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I heard of an interview with Viggo (Aragorn) and he said that if he was asked to play the part of Aragorn in The Hobbit, he would gladly accept it without hesitation...

Shows how much Viggo knows about LOTR.
Get Viggo to play Thorin. Or Bombur. I can't decide which. (Just Kidding!)

Problem with The Hobbit as a movie is -- even if it is marketed properly -- how do you sort out all those dwarves? 9 companions in the fellowship, of different races, was hard enough. How many of you can sketch the characters of each dwarf, distinguishing one character from another (without going back to look at the book)? I can name them all but only a few have distinct characteristics: Thorin the leader (and oh arrogant one!), Bombur with the large appetite, dreams of feasts in Mirkwood and unwillingness to climb the steep side of the lonely mountain... Fili and Kili the youngest, kin of Thorin and cousins, and fire-starters (I think??)? and then the one I can't remember who was the lookout, whom Bilbo sneaked past. I'd be very hard pressed to flesh out dori, nori ori, oin, gloin, bifur, bofur, sleepy, grumpy, sneezy.... oh, wait, wrong story :-P
I think we'd have to depend on the Dwarve's clothes not getting dirty enough to be able to tell when a different one was talking, but that still doesn't tell us who was who. I think Balin was the lookout and he was also the kindlier of the Dwarves towards Bilbo, and accompanied Gandalf to visit Bilbo in the Shire seven years after Bilbo's homecoming.
Danny DeVito would make a good Bombur.

For the others, it should be easy enough to find someone to portray them - every circus has a midget that is usually shot from cannons or sticks his head in the open mouth of a lion or other fun stuff, hence that should be the place to look.
So would Rob Schneider Orc Grinning Smilie

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Hiding behind his mother's skirt: the lad was ten years old at the time.

I know this, but I'm going with the rumour of maybe being two films, as I said before, a 'prologue'... tis a rumor only... but still have him shown as a boy in the background in the first one, then maybe a grown man in the second... Have some history like I said, 'prologue'...

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Shows how much Viggo knows about LOTR.

If he said that, then there must be more than you or I know... Like in an interview with Sean Astin, it was said that he'd be bummed out if anyone else taken the part of Samwise, so I assume that he heard rumours of being two films or just one big prologue...

I like to keep open minded Orc Smiling Smilie
I had read that he wants to not only do The Hobbit, he wants to do a movie of the time between The Hobbit and LoTR. PJ i guess, was going to take the different stories from the appendices, Unfinished Tales, and The Silmarillion. Im not sure how that would all turn out. It seems like there are too many holes to fill.

What i wouldnt mind is maybe taking part of The Silmarillion and making that into a movie. Now i know it would be more impossible that LoTR to do, but maybe just a part of it. Maybe doing something from the time of the forging of the rings. Almost like taking the intro to The Fellowship movie and making it 3 hours.

I really dont like the idea of someone other than PJ making this movie. I read the books before the movie came out and i was very very pleased with what he did with it. It wasnt perfect but i believe he captured the essence that is LoTR. I cross my fingers that they will come to an agreement. Of course we'll all go see it...but i know i wont be as happy about it as i want to be.
Hard 'Hobbit' to Break: Jackson's In

By JAKE COYLE
The Associated Press
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NEW YORK -- Bilbo lives!

After publicly feuding for more than a year, "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema have reached agreement to make J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," a planned two-film prequel to the blockbuster trilogy.

Jackson, who directed "Rings," will serve as executive producer for two "Hobbit" pictures. They will tell the story of how the young hobbit Bilbo Baggins originally came to possess the nefarious One Ring that Frodo, his adopted heir, needed three films to dispose of.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/18/AR2007121800690.html?nav=rss_artsandliving/entertainmentnews
Sounds great to me; though Virumor will be disappointed. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Hehe, you saved me some time there Gandalf. I had a little spare time and was just about to go looking for an article. Thank you! I'll run along and post it on the front page. Happy Elf Smilie
I'm so happy Happy Elf Smilie
Mwahahaha, *looks to previous post* I knew it... Thanks Gandalf Wiggle Smilie
two hobbit pictures! Shocked Smilie
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Sounds great to me; though Virumor will be disappointed.
No, Virumor doesn't care.
What about Mir? Does she care? Orc Smiling Smilie
I read yesterday that Peter "Gimme more money!" Jackson finally got the boot and is going to be replaced by Guillermo "Pan's Labyrinth" Del Toro.
I read that Peter Jackson has finally been let back in on the film, but is not going to be the Director. Not sure what role he is going to play in the making of the film but it said that he and New Line have finally come to an agreement.
he might be gollum Big Smile Smilie
Oh I just can't wait. I wish we could look forward to something of Tolkien every winter, for oh let's say a kazillion years. Smile Smilie
I cant Wait eaither omg Its goin to be sweet i want to see the battle of.... umm..... 6 ? ARMIES with the eagles and dwarves and goblins and mirkwood pikwmen!!!! i hope they make IT!!!! Big Smile Smilie
That was the Battle of the Five Armies between the Men of Esgaroth, the Elves of Northern Mirkwood, the Dwarves of Erebor and the Iron Hills, all against the huge army of Orcs of the Misty Mountains and the Wargs. Not to forget the aid provided by Bilbo, Gandalf, Beorn, and the Eagles of the Misty Mountains.
I wonder if they are going to market this as a children's movie?? It has gone over so well all these years as a children's book, that's how it was published. If they get the same actors back it won't be for the same money they accepted before, so that's a consideration. I think Gerard Butler could fit in it somewhere.
Gerard would be hiding in Erebor during the movie, he'll be singing away, being The Phantom of the Mountaaaaaaiiiiiiinnnn Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
This is the news according to some (and at the moment) anyway...

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Tolkien Charity Files Suit Against New Line Cinema for Failure to Pay Share of Film Revenues

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM-- (Marketwire - Feb. 11, 2008) - The trustees of The Tolkien Trust, a British charity, have filed an action against New Line Cinema for its failure to pay a contractually required gross profit participation in the three films based on the world-famous Lord of the Rings trilogy. The trustees of the estate of JRR Tolkien and HarperCollins Publishers are co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The suit was filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The Lord of the Rings films produced by New Line are among the most financially successful films ever created by Hollywood and were released in 2001, 2002 and 2003 respectively. The cumulative worldwide gross receipts to date total nearly $6 billion. Notwithstanding the overwhelming financial success of the films, and the fact that the plaintiffs have a gross participation in each of the films, New Line has failed to pay the plaintiffs any portion of the gross profit participation at all.

The trustees' UK lawyer, Steven Maier, of Manches LLP, said: "The Tolkien trustees do not file lawsuits lightly, and have tried unsuccessfully to resolve their claims out of court. But in this case, New Line has left them no option at all. New Line has not paid the plaintiffs even one penny of its contractual share of gross receipts despite the billions of dollars of gross revenue generated by these wildly successful motion pictures. To make matters worse, to date New Line has even prevented the plaintiffs from auditing the last two films of the series. The trustees are very aggrieved by New Line's arrogance."

The complaint seeks, among other things, in excess of $150 million in compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages, and a declaration from the Court that the plaintiffs have a right to terminate any further rights New Line may have to the Tolkien works under the agreements, including The Hobbit, due to the serious and material nature of the breach of the agreements.

Bonnie Eskenazi, the trustees' US counsel who filed the complaint, said, "New Line has brought new meaning to the phrase 'creative accounting.' I cannot imagine how on earth New Line will argue to a jury that these films could gross literally billions of dollars, and yet the creator's heirs, who are entitled to a share of gross receipts, don't get a penny."

JRR Tolkien is the world-renowned author of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit." The Tolkien Trust is a UK registered charity that has made grants to charitable causes all over the world totaling over $8 million in the last five years alone.'


Hopefully this is accurate at least, though I tend to doubt initial reports, especially on the web.
19 December 2007, Dominion Post, republished on stuff.co.nz

Peter Jackson will be executive producer.....

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Peter Jackson has won the battle for Middle-earth and is to make The Hobbit.


The Oscar-winning Wellington film-maker and Hollywood studios New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios announced today that they had resolved their legal dispute. Jackson and partner Fran Walsh will serve as executive producers on two Hobbit movies.

Pre-production will begin as soon as possible and both will be shot simultaneously, tentatively in 2009. The Hobbit is likely to be released in 2010 and the sequel in 2011.

Jackson sued New Line in 2005 for unpaid profits, estimated to be about US$100 million, from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which became a stumbling block to his being involved in The Hobbit.

Jackson and New Line said in the announcement that they had settled all legal action. "I'm very pleased that we've been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line," Jackson said. "We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle-earth."

A decision still has to be made on who will direct the films, who will be cast and where they will be filmed.

Critics and audiences cited New Zealand's scenery - a major component in The Lord of the Rings - as one of the main reasons for the films' popularity. Equally popular were the Oscar-winning effects created by Wellington's Weta Workshop and Weta Digital.

Many websites dedicated to The Lord of the Rings have said they not only want Jackson to make The Hobbit, but that it is equally important that the Weta teams be involved.

The announcement also heralded a significant agreement between MGM - which has zealously held the rights to filming The Hobbit for many years - and New Line.

Jackson said MGM chairman and chief executive Harry Sloan helped him reach an accord with New Line.

New Line co-chairman Bob Shaye said the studio was pleased to have resolved its differences with Jackson and Walsh. "We know they will bring the same passion, care and talent to these films that they so ably accomplished with The Lord of the Rings."

Sloan said they would now focus on assembling the team to make the two films.

RING OF POWER

* The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien, was published in 1937, and tells the story of Bilbo Baggins before the events of The Lord of the Rings. It relates how Bilbo met the wizard Gandalf, fought Smaug the dragon, and found the One Ring.

* The Lord of the Rings trilogy has made about US$3 billion at the box office and another US$1 billion in DVD sales. Between them, the films won 17 Oscars.


However I thought I heard that newline still had issues with this, but can't find news to back that up....Actually can that, just found one! The NZ Herald. Pretty much the same as the one posted above.

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Kiwis watched Lord of the Rings like it was our own personal "Precious" come true. But someone had been trying to get LOTR made into a film since 1957.

There were rumours the Beatles even wanted to buy the rights as a vehicle for them to star.

Producer Saul Zaentz had it in the 1970s, but the project continued its slog through "development hell" for another two decades before Peter Jackson got the rights, finally releasing his films 44 years later.

Don't buy your tickets just yet for The Hobbit either.

There are still legal fisticuffs over the billion-dollar spoils from the trilogy. Jackson fought New Line for his profits and now the Tolkien estate is suing for its 7.5 per cent.


So the issue may now be the tolkien estate and newline.... Hopefully the original dates will hold, or near to, would be great to have it out in the next couple of years Smile Smilie
I haven't been able to learn anymore about the lawsuit between Trust and HarperCollins and New Line over unpaid profits from the LotR Triolgy. The Trust and HarperCollins appear to claim New Line has pulled the typical Hollywood practice of creative accounting, making the gross profit appear much smaller than it probably is; and they have yet to be paid anything.

I have found that negotiations with Guillermo Del Toro are still in progress towards his directing The Hobbit.

Also a bunch of head honchos at New Line are gone due to a merger with MGM, but the movie is still in the works.

I just thought that I would take this as an opportunity to voice my opinion, which is the correct one. LEAVE MY BOOKS ALONE, YOU PROFIT-HUNGRY SWINE!
I"m entirely sick of only learning that a "best-selling" book exists only because it's being made into a high-budget film with actors who, as far as I am concerned, can drop dead before I finish this sentence. Making a book into a movie just shows a complete disregard for the creator. Thousands of people who do not take the time to read a book are going to see the movie and judge it solely based on cinematography and the abilities of the actors, although neither of these things have any substantial connection to the quality of the story. It's like taking a quote out of context and expecting people to understand its' meaning. Not only do they not understand its' meaning, but they will probably judge the speaker based on the quote which they can not be bothered to try and understand.
If the movie is worth being made into a film, then what was the matter with the original presentation (book)? The author is being insulted by being "improved upon" and exploited by having his or her work remade into a format that is more "worthy" or appealing for people who did not care who the author was before some "expert" decided that, not even the author's work, but a condensed and audio-visually "enhanced" rendition of that work, was worthy of their time.
I'd disagree with you there Smile Smilie

The books are amazing, I don't argue there! But I don't see any problem with them being moved to different media and developed there. The audio versions are great, I have a copy sitting on my desk. My little sister had the comic version of the hobbit before she would have been able to read the book.

Some people will never read the books, there are many books in this world and we only get a limited amount of time in our lives. So a major film brings this story - which is easily strong enough to cope with different interpretations in different media - to a lot of people who otherwise wouldn't have head of/read/or been interested in it in the written form.

I just watched the FotR yet again. It's a different kind of magic from the book, but I still think I'd rather share that with all these other people than hide away with the book and deny them sharing in it at all.
Mexico's del Toro to direct "The Hobbit"
By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was named on Thursday to direct two movies based on the J.R.R. Tolkien book "The Hobbit" to build on the blockbuster success of "The Lord of the Rings" series.

Plans to make a two-part precursor to "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, based on Tolkien's three-volume follow-up to his "Hobbit" story, were announced in December after settlement of a bitter legal dispute cleared the way for the project.

Del Toro, whose credits include "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Blade II," will move to New Zealand for the next four years to work on both "Hobbit" films with executive producer Peter Jackson, who directed all three "The Lord of the Rings" movies, according to New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

The studios have said that filming will begin in 2009, with tentative release dates set of 2010 for the first film and 2011 for the sequel.

The plans call for del Toro to work back-to-back on "The Hobbit" and its sequel, which will deal with the 60-year period between that story and "The Fellowship of the Ring," the first of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, the studios said.

http://www.reuters.com:80/article/entertainmentNews/idUSN2442868220080425
yes, but what about this lawsuit? much as I would like to see a well-done Hobbit movie, I really abhor the idea that millions were made by New Line Cinema (millions that I and my family and friends contributed to, in multiple ticket sales and dvd/video purchases), and yet the tolkien family/estate/trust/heirs, to whom a part of these millions are owed, has not received anything yet.
Much as I would like to see the Tolkiens do well in all ways, they do not have exclusive rights. From what I understand, Prof. Tolkien sold the rights to The Hobbit and LOTR and so now these rights are held by someone other than the family. This is probably why Christopher Tolkien has been so nasty about the movies and why he will not sell any further rights to his father's works to anyone--at least, so we've been told.

Gandalf
I understand that the rights have been sold, but I was under the impression that a small portion of the profits was to be paid to them as part of the original agreement to sell the rights.
The Tolkien Trust and publisher HarperCollins brought the lawsuit against New Line Cinema. The Trust and HarperCollins must think they have legal grounds here, and are not (in any case) the first in line to try and sue New Line for money claimed to be owed.

As for the contract, maybe it's fairly straightforward from a legal standpoint, maybe not. Rayner Unwin wrote in his memoirs (with respect to the original deal made when JRRT was alive): 'A negotiation of nearly two yearsí duration that was eventually consummated in a fifty-page contract, the complexities and uncertainties of which have dogged the publishers and the authorís estate ever since.'

So we will have to wait perhaps.
The way the US justice system works, leads me to suspect that by the time New Line pays anything to the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien's grandchildren will themselves have grandchildren. New Lines lawyers will drag out the case until time and inflation make the case worthless, in my humble opinion.
This may not be exactly what is being discussed, but I am very disgruntled and I want my opinion to be heard.

I do not believe that the films should be made at all. And I DO NOT care about whether or not they will be good movies. And I DO NOT care how they will be marketed or what pampered, plastic, rich, piece of s#^t sucks the most profit out of them. Entertainment is not as important to me as true justice, which is ENTIRELY different from legal justice.

Christopher Tolkien, who- obviously - new the author of these stories quite personally, does not believe that these films should be made. This man has studied his father's work and even expanded it, although the results of his influence are not often well-received. The one living person who probably knows the both the writings and the writer as well as any man could has been against the films from the beginning. To me, it seems like a disgusting act of ingratitude to claim to be a fan of someone's work and then support those who only appear to be exploiting it.

The modern entertainment industry is butchering almost every creative work that I have ever admired. The defining characteristics of books are butchered when the story is transferred to film. Take The Lord of the Rings movies for example. I haven't watched any of them for over a year, but I remember that one speech was switched from one character to another. It was something that Gandalf said in The Return of the King. In the films, however, the line seemed to be more suited for Grima Wormtongue. That is as much as saying that good and evil are interchangeable depending on the situation.

I have also heard, although I have not verified this, that J.R.R. Tolkien only sold the film rights because he desperately needed money, and he did not believe that the books could not be transferred to film without losing key elements.

IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE, PLEASE READ THE LAST PARAGRAPH!

Back to my original statement, Christopher Tolkien knows as much or more about his father as anyone else in the world, and he disapproves. I have, more or less, put all legal matters aside, including those that may reflect on the integrity of New Line Cinemas. The closest possible known thing to the author's wishes means much more to me than a "good" movie or a piece of paper signed almost forty years ago!
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I have also heard, although I have not verified this, that J.R.R. Tolkien only sold the film rights because he desperately needed money, and he did not believe that the books could not be transferred to film without losing key elements.


Certainly money was involved. If interested, here's what I dug up so far: at first Tolkien was willing, if not enthusiastic, to allow a proposed animated motion-picture of The Lord of the Rings to go forward. In 1957 he wrote:

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'As far as I am concerned personally, I should welcome the idea of an animated motion picture, with all the risk of vulgarization; and that quite apart from the glint of money, though on the brink of retirement that is not an unpleasant possibility. I think I should find vulgarization less painful than the sillification achieved by the B.B.C.'


Tolkien wrote that he was in need of money in 1958, and in any case, he did mind the film treatment he was offered at the time ('Z' is Morton Grady Zimmerman, who did the synopsis of the proposed film of The Lord of the Rings).

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'I am very unhappy about the extreme silliness and incompetence of Z and his complete lack of respect for the original (it seems wilfully wrong without discernable technical reasons at nearly every point). But I need, and shall soon need very much indeed, money, and I am conscious of your rights and interests; so that I shall endeavour to restrain myself, and avoid all avoidable offence.' JRRT, 1958 to Rayner Unwin


In 1957 Tolkien had also written: 'Stanley U. and I have agreed on our policy: Art or Cash. Either very profitable terms indeed; or absolute author's veto on objectionable features or alterations.'

Of course this film was not made. But that got the ball rolling it seems, and the Unwins (Tolkien's publishers) were obviously involved. In 1961 Rayner reminded Tolkien of the policy he had agreed to with Stanley Unwin: cash or Kudos (source Hammond and Scull) when Rembrandt Films became interested in cartoon films of the Hobbit. Tolkien left it to Rayner, stating:

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'I clearly understand that one must either turn the matter down or put up with many objectionable things that they are sure to perpetrate in their production. I am sure advice or argument would be quite unavailing (except to make them throw the whole thing up) and I have no time for either. In any case I do not feel so deeply about The Hobbit; and anyway I am now mainly dependent for my support on my earnings as an author I feel justified in sinking my feelings in return for cash.'


In August 1964 Tolkien wrote in a letter to Miss Ward (this letter came up for auction).

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'I am delighted to hear of your great enjoyment of my book. As for Television, however, I am personally averse to dramatizations of my work, especially The Lord of the Rings, which is too long for reproduction without severe cutting and editing; in my view destructive, or at best severely damaging to a complicated but closely-woven story. But in such matters the inerests of my publishers must be considered. They are in any case primarily concerned in all questions of reproduction by any process (vide the copyright notice).'


In September 1967 Rayner Unwin sent Tolkien various letters from their American agent, a Mr. Swanson: 'Swanson has also written about an offer for film rights of the Lord of the Rings.' (H&S). In November, Rayner, having just returned from the United States, writes to Tolkien, stating that he thinks 'agreement is close with United Artists for the Lord of the Rings film rights.'

In 1969 (rumors of a Tolkien-based film had surfaced, in connection with the Beatles) Rayner Unwin again reminded Tolkien of their agreement (Hammond and Scull): that if a film brings cash, they will waive any kudos. He points out to Tolkien that whatever the film is like: 'the book remains inviolable and that is the main thing. What they do with the property in other media will, I regret to say, be entirely their responsibility from an aesthetic point of view, will only vary in degrees between bad at best and execrable at the worst.'

Probably in June 1969 Tolkien wrote a letter about a proposed film, quoted by Joy Hill:

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'No film nor any 'version' in another medium could appear satisfactory to any devoted and attentive reader. On the other hand some of the greater pictorial and dramatic scenes could, with modern resources, be a moving experience. All possible precautions have been taken that the story should be presented without serious mutilation and without alteration or alterations.' JRRT, Hammond and Scull


I have no idea what JRRT means with respect to any 'precautions' here.

It does appear that JRRT sold the film rights in 1969. Then there is the tax bill issue: I could not find this mentioned in a source I was very confident in, but recently I asked William Hicklin about it, and his answer appears below.

First, it might be noted that the original agreement of 1969 is said to be a notoriously difficult document. Rayner Unwin, in reference to this, wrote in his memoirs: 'A negotiation of nearly two yearsí duration [i.e., 1967-69] that was eventually consummated in a fifty-page contract, the complexities and uncertainties of which have dogged the publishers and the authorís estate ever since.' These memoirs were published in 1999, and perhaps those complexities and uncertainties underlie the current dispute -- though it might be remembered that Jackson himself, for example, also took to the courts claiming New Line owed him money, so it's not like the Tolkien Trust is 'first in line' here, in any event.

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William Hicklin: 'The tax bill story has been repeated often in the press- and although the press is notoriously unreliable on these things, I believe the tax bill line appeared in the very accurate story printed in 2001 in The Financial Times, which for the first time (TMK) gave the correct cash consideration and the fact that there were residuals.

The problem which afflicted Tolkien in the late 1960's was that the Ballantine paperbacks and ensuing Tolkien Craze generated royalties vastly beyond anything he had anticipated even in 1962- and *suddenly* exposed him to Surtax. (The Inland Revenue, at least back then, had a nasty habit of 'surprising' you with a bill- calculated on an accrual, not a cash, basis).'


Mr. Hicklin is a lawyer (not for the Tolkien Estate). I am not at all knowledgeable enough in the matter to do more than present his answer here.
Director Guillermo Del Toro said that they would soon be announcing which actor would be replacing Ian Holm for The Hobbit movies. ďI believe weíre very close now to saying one nameĒ and he also added that an announcement was no more than a couple of weeks away. This announcement was made 05 June of this year.
So we should hear anytime. I'm glad this project will be getting underway!
I cannot wait to see the movie(s) Smile Smilie
I hope they really start working on the movie. Considering that the hobbit is quite a small book I hope they do not alter it a lot. Smile Smilie
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