September 8, 2009

‘Lord of the Rings’ lawsuit is settled

The Tolkien Trust, New Line Cinema and HarperCollins said Tuesday they have settled a U.S. lawsuit pertaining to The Lord of the Rings films.

The blockbusters are based on J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy novels.

The claim was filed in February 2008. HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. and the trustees of the J.R.R. Tolkien Estate were co-plaintiffs in the claim, which concerned their participation interest in the Lord of the Rings films -- The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King -- released between 2001 and 2003.

The precise terms of the settlement are confidential, the parties said.

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, Christopher Tolkien said in a statement. The Trustees acknowledge that New Line may now proceed with its proposed films of 'The Hobbit.'

We deeply value the contributions of the Tolkien novels to the success of our films and are pleased to have put this litigation behind us. We all look forward to a mutually productive and beneficial relationship in the future, added Warner Bros.' President and Chief Operating Officer Alan Horn.

New Line became a unit of Warner Bros. Entertainment in March 2008.