Even as they were constructing Hobbiton, producer Peter Jackson had to say that The Hobbit movies aren't properly green-lit and might not happen, period. So even though director Guillermo del Toro had moved to New Zealand a year ago to begin preproduction on the film with Jackson and members of the cast were coming back to reprise their roles, it still wasn't official.
Why? Because of a lawsuit brought against New Line and their parent company Time Warner.
In a claim filed in February of last year, J.R.R. Tolkien’s heirs were suing the studios and the filmmakers for $220 million dollars in unpaid profits from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, released 2001, 2002 and 2003, respectively. On top of that they were trying to terminate further film rights to Tolkien’s books due to a breach of contract.
Well, now The Hobbit films are officially a go! The UK registered charity the Tolkien Trust has announced that they, New Line Cinema, and HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. have resolved the lawsuit.
Head of the Tolkien estate JRR's son, Christopher Tolkien comments on the settlement:
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 Trustees acknowledge that New Line may now proceed with its proposed films of 'The Hobbit.'
Finally! We all knew it would eventually get resolved. Jackson, del Toro and the studios wouldn't be putting their time and money into something they thought wouldn't happen. But better resolved sooner rather than later. Now they can precede with the two Hobbit film's, and the possible third bridge film that would be helmed by Jackson.
Warner Bros.' President & Chief Operating Officer Alan Horn stated:
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.
What a politically back handed way to say something. You "deeply value the contributions" of the novels "to the success of our films"??? That's like saying you acknowledge the "contributions" your parents had in helping make you. Try acting a little more enthused!
So now with this lawsuit behind us, we can focus on the important stuff... like the 3D aspect that will undoubtedly happen, and those casting rumors! So, kind of important.
Are you guys happy that The Hobbit's baby's momma is no longer knockin' on the door for child support?