I've always wanted to see a Middle Earth theme park become a reality, and now there's a rumor out there that suggests it could actually happen at Universal Studios!
According to a user on Orlando United’s theme park forum, "Universal asked Warner Bros. to approach the Tolkien family since the Tolkien's trust WB with the success of the LOTR series. WB described how Universal was willing to work with JK Rowling and how the 2 of them (WB and JK) held Universal's feet to the fire to uphold Rowling's vision of the IP. And I believe that the Tolkien's may have actually talked to JK Rowling. This was before Universal said a word to the Tolkien's. So after WB stoked the fire, Universal entered the picture with an impressive plan. As of now there is a lot of hammering out to go, but Universal has gotten a lot farther than Disney ever did."
I would love it if this actually happened! There's no doubt that it would make an incredible theme park! It's also perfect for fans like me that may never make it out to New Zealand to visit the real Middle Earth. This is all just a rumor for now, and nothing has been confirmed by Universal or Warner Bros. There's also no information on where the theme park would be built.
The one part about this whole thing that seems a bit off is where the source says that the Tolkien family trusts Warner Bros. with the success of the LOTR series, because I was under the impression that the Tolkien's didn't like the movies, and that there is some bitterness, especially after all of the lawsuits. J.R.R. Tolkien's son Christopher said this in a previous interview,
They gutted the book, making an action movie for 15-25 year olds. And it seems that The Hobbit will be of the same ilk. Tolkien became…devoured by his popularity and absorbed by the absurdity of the time. The gap widened between the beauty, the seriousness of the work, and what it has become is beyond me. This level of marketing reduces to nothing the aesthetic and philosophical significance of this work.
He doesn't seem like the kind of guy that would want to see his father's work turned into a theme park, but ya never know, money has a way of talking people into things. It's also hard to believe that a major studio would need to go through Warner Bros. to make this happen. These kinds of deals are all made through lawyers anyway.
What do you think of the possibility of a Middle Earth theme park? Mount Doom would make for a hell of a roller coaster ride!
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