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Lord of the Rings Entertainment

Tolkien Trust Okays Hobbit Movie 325

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-i-say-he-is-a-burgla-a-burglar-he-is dept.
saudadelinux writes "Last year, the Tolkien Trust, which administers JRR's estate, bellowed stentoriously, 'Youuuu shall not make The Hobbit!' and sued New Line Cinema for 'a reported $220m (£133m) in compensation, based on breach of contract and fraud.' New Line, chastened, has settled for an undisclosed sum of money. The Trust has given its blessing to New Line for Guillermo del Toro to film The Hobbit and for New Line to make other films based on Tolkien's work. Much rejoicing!"
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Tolkien Trust Okays Hobbit Movie

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  • Hollywood accounting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @08:54AM (#29365199) Homepage Journal

    Too bad, I wouldn't have minded too much if their Hollywood Accounting [wikipedia.org] had backfired on them.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @08:56AM (#29365223)
      I'd say it did backfire on them. They settled because they don't want their books to be opened in court.
    • by owlnation (858981) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:22AM (#29365583)

      Too bad, I wouldn't have minded too much if their Hollywood Accounting had backfired on them.

      If there's one wikipedia page (and in reality there's 10,000s), that sums up the inadequacies of wikipedia, it's that Hollywood Accounting one. That page is 100% hearsay, gossip column and TMZ-esque gossip presented as fact and wikiality.

      While there are (likely) many instances of creative accounting practices in Hollywood, the truth is very guarded. And the truth is NOT displayed on that wikipedia page. There is nothing to see on that page that's of any value to the human race.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:30AM (#29365713)

        If there's one wikipedia page (and in reality there's 10,000s), that sums up the inadequacies of wikipedia, it's that Hollywood Accounting one. That page is 100% hearsay, gossip column and TMZ-esque gossip presented as fact and wikiality.

        Phew, thank God a random Slashdot user saved us from that evil Wikipedia page, because of course, since we can fully trust Slashdot users always check their facts before posting.

        • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionar ... minus physicist> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @10:50AM (#29366813) Journal

          If there's one wikipedia page (and in reality there's 10,000s), that sums up the inadequacies of wikipedia, it's that Hollywood Accounting one. That page is 100% hearsay, gossip column and TMZ-esque gossip presented as fact and wikiality.

          Phew, thank God a random Slashdot user saved us from that evil Wikipedia page, because of course, since we can fully trust Slashdot users always check their facts before posting.

          Finally, an Anonymous Coward has stepped forward to put an end to this pointless bickering, warning us not to trust random Slashdot users. Because of course, we can fully trust Anonymous Cowards. They are anonymous, what would they have to gain by lying?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

        So, you are claiming that the lawsuits referenced on that page are complete fabrications? Why don't you correct it, then?

      • Thanks Michael Eisner!

      • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @10:47AM (#29366759) Homepage

        That page is 100% hearsay, gossip column and TMZ-esque gossip presented as fact and wikiality.

        Yeah, if you don't count all the references and links to well-established facts in examples of Hollywood Accounting.

        Which of course you don't count, because your post is 100% garbage anti-WP FUD. You said nothing of value to the human race. The WP page has you beat on that count by miles and miles.

      • by jgtg32a (1173373) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @11:38AM (#29367459)
        Agreed the page should be a simple entry that defines Hollywood Accounting as:

        Forest Gump had a budget of $55M, it grossed $677M. According to Hollywood Accounting the movie did not make a profit.
  • Hooray! GDT!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Cowar (1608865) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @08:55AM (#29365207)
    Now we can see gollum transformed into an eyeless demon with the eyes on the palm of the hand. I mean we saw it in pan's labyrinth as well as in hellboy 2, so why not the hobbit? That said, he does good work, I'm eagerly anticipating his dark and symbolic take on a (for tolkien) light and fun child's book.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Red Flayer (890720)
      I'm just looking forward to a (hopefully) creeped out Mirkwood. I have high hopes for del Toro being able to make people squirm in their seats as the party traipses through it.

      Unfortunately, I kind of dread what he's going to do with the physiognomy of the Wood Elves... I fear it may be too fairy-tale-ish, some kind of caricature of what we have all grown accustomed to from the three Jackon films.

      OTOH, if the whole movie is done in del Toro's fairy-tale style, then it may work... but that's a big risk fo
  • Oh great (Score:5, Funny)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @08:58AM (#29365247)
    MORE walking.
    • Re:Oh great (Score:5, Funny)

      by JasonWM (991689) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:13AM (#29365445) Homepage
      Even the f*@king trees walked in those movies!
    • Still, at least the hobbits only had two breakfasts per day in the film.
    • by dbcad7 (771464)
      Road trip !.. Used by authors since forever to delay a story, make the task (whatever it is) seem more difficult, and give the reader more time to learn about the characters. Usually ends in a comparatively quick resolution.. In many of these, the journey is more interesting than the resolution, and doesn't always translate well to film.. IMHO, not every good book should be made into a movie. Usually what made it good was enough detail that you could visualize it.. reading about hobbits camping is far more
  • by Hoplite3 (671379) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:06AM (#29365357)

    Actually, the new title is "The Hobbit! The Musical! On Ice!" It's as faithful to the original you can be and still have it involve lots of ice dancing. Which is not very faithful at all.

    • by natehoy (1608657)

      And Smaug is now the Abominable Snow Monster from Rudolph, who is hoarding misfit toys. Gandalf becomes that snowman-narrator-thingie, and Frodo's nose glows red mysteriously...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hort_wort (1401963)

      I really enjoyed the music from the ole animated Hobbit. I pretend I'm an orc and run around singing it sometimes while chasing animals up trees.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by proslack (797189)
      Will Hitler be in it too?
  • Who? (sigh). I guess it's gonna have a vastly different feel from the LOTR trilogy (at best). Or worse.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you want to see an example of his work, watch Pan's Labyrinth. It's very well done. If The Hobbit is half as good, I'll be pleased.

      • by Abcd1234 (188840)

        If you want to see an example of his work, watch Pan's Labyrinth. It's very well done.

        Yeah, or Hellboy and it's sequel, which most certainly are not.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721)

      LotR was godawful. It's a pretty unfilmable book. The Hobbit will be much more amenable to being made into a movie.

    • by natehoy (1608657)

      I would have liked to see Jackson's take on it, if for no other reason than to have a consistency with his take on Lord of the Rings. Jackson wasn't particularly true to the LOTR storyline, but he ended up telling a very LOTR-like tale, and translated some of Tolkien's original memes (particularly Gollum/Smeagol's internal conflict) brilliantly. I'd hate to see too much of a jarring difference in the interpretation of JRR's work that is also jarringly inconsistent with Jackson't interpretation/retelling.

      T

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by whisper_jeff (680366)
      Guillermo del Toro: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0868219/ [imdb.com]

      Director of Mimic, Blade 2, Hellboy, Hellboy 2, and Pan's Labyrinth.

      I'm quite happy with him as director of The Hobbit as his body of work is excellent. And, yes, it will have a vastly different feel from the LotR trilogy. And that's not a bad thing given his vision for fantasy/faerie tales is beautiful.
      • by Gryle (933382)
        The Hobbit has a much different feel that the LoTR triology so a different director makes sense. However, The Hobbit has always felt brighter as a whole than LoTR did. I do worry that del Toro's darker style of directing might detract from that. Still, given the man's talents, it'll still be a film worth watching.
  • by Em Emalb (452530) <ememalb.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:07AM (#29365371) Homepage Journal

    Sue company for "an undisclosed sum", then allow them to go ahead and make the movie(s).

    LUDICROUS JIBS!

    Or:

    1) sue movie company
    2) profit
    3) allow movie company to make said movie(s)
    4) profit again.

    To hell with the underpants gnomes, this is the true 4 step process right here.

    • Yup. They'd be stupid not to see it.

      'Course, New Line had to play along if they ever wanted to get the movie rights.

    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:34AM (#29365763)

      well done, Tolkien "trust" Sue company for "an undisclosed sum", then allow them to go ahead and make the movie(s).

      Maybe you're not familiar with the modern film industry. Here's how it works. You own rights to a book series. A movie company wants to make it a film. They offer you a percentage of the take, you sign a contract, they make a couple of movies, and a pile of cash. Then they tell you the movie flopped and the millions they made were actually from unrelated marketing of the characters to fast food and all the money from the box office was spent on advertising. Sorry, we'll pay you nothing for the rights and just try to make us. So you go to court and 5-10 years later if you had enough money to keep up in the courts you win and actually see the first money.

      The difference here is the film company wanted make another movie with rights from the person still suing them for not having paid for the last movie, so said person (trust actually) told them to go to hell until they were paid for the first one. So the film company settled and paid them for the first movie and now the lawyers get to sit down and start over with the hope that the contract for the second movie will be more ironclad and they'll actually be paid in a timely fashion. Maybe they'll just demand a flat fee up front. In any case, I'm inclined to place the blame for this mess on the very, very deceptive and crooked movie industry.

    • by Dan667 (564390) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:43AM (#29365893)
      New Line made $6 billion and tried to screw Peter Jackson and the Tolkien Trust what they were owed (actually I still think they got screwed being paid $220 million). Instead of letting Jackson and the Hobbit make them a new pile of money, New Line tried to keep it all themselves. Have to wonder why the management of New Line still has a job making business decisions like that. Shareholders should be angry it has taken this long to settle holding up the next movie. And anytime anyone wants to give me $6 billion dollars for a $220 million payment and what ever Jackson got, and the potential for a new big pile of cash let me know there would be no waiting or bad faith like New Line.
  • I guess it's better to have "The Hobbit" than "Lord of the Rings II, Saruman rises AGAIN" or something :)

  • by segedunum (883035) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:18AM (#29365509)
    Apparently, the Tolkien Trust is supposed to be a charity. Businesses masquerading as charities seems to be de jour these days, not to mention the tax benefits....... I digress.

    Anyway, am I the only person who actually read The Hobbit, thought it was a great book, read Lord of the Rings and thought it was good, if long-winded, and then absolutely hated the films? I honestly don't see what others seems to see in those films at all. They're far more long-winded than the book(s), lacking in focus, lacking in atmosphere, poorly acted in parts (mostly because of the lack of focus), has some very poor imitation of 'The Mission' as its soundtrack, very pretentious and not exactly faithful to the book(s) at all. "Lean forward!" - WTF?! They're certainly not trilogies that will live in the memory like Star Wars (the proper trilogy, that is). I just don't want to see a book that's better than the Lord of the Rings getting the same Peter Jackson personal massacre treatment as well as all the fan worship that seems to go around with them.
    • by Henriok (6762) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:23AM (#29365589)

      Anyway, am I the only person who actually read The Hobbit, thought it was a great book, read Lord of the Rings and thought it was good, if long-winded, and then absolutely hated the films?

      Yes. You probably are the only one. Or at least one of an alarmingly small minority.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by iYk6 (1425255)

        I find it likely that we are the quiet majority, actually. Those films barely made any sense because they skipped so much. It is very unlikely that the washed masses were able to pick up a story from it. The first one was good, but the second ones were just too dull. I couldn't even finish watching the third one. The movie was over-hyped, and a lot of people just got swept up in it.

        Hopefully The Hobbit will be better. This book lends itself slightly better for a movie format, since there was action and come

    • by rawiswar (1605157) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:26AM (#29365629)
      Its just a matter of opinion. To this day, I think Star Wars (almost all of them) were crap.
    • Anyway, am I the only person who actually read The Hobbit, thought it was a great book, read Lord of the Rings and thought it was good, if long-winded, and then absolutely hated the films?

      Over the age of seven? Yes, I think you are.

      They're certainly not trilogies that will live in the memory like Star Wars (the proper trilogy, that is).

      They are not trillogies at all. They are not even a single trillogy (which requires three complete but linked stories); The Lord of the Rings is one story broken (almost abitrarily) into three segments.

      • by RingDev (879105)

        The Lord of the Rings is one story broken (almost abitrarily) into three segments.

        You should really read the book some time. If you had, you would have known that it is actually 6 books, published in pairs.

        Also, get a spell checker. It only takes a second to run, makes you look smarter, and after you've corrected the same word for the 15th time, you'll actually start to remember the correct spelling.

        -Rick

      • by Splab (574204)

        Well you would be wrong.

        Most people I know are huge fans of the books, but like me loathe the movies, I saw them in the cinema and thought, well.. nice enough movies, but not keepers. I've tried watching them again when broad casted on TV, but always end up switching channel.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zantac69 (1331461)

      Anyway, am I the only person who actually read The Hobbit, thought it was a great book, read Lord of the Rings and thought it was good, if long-winded, and then absolutely hated the films?

      I honestly enjoyed both the books and the movies. Granted - some of the stuff in the movies is crap - so total crap that I winced (yes - "lean forward" almost made me vomit in my mouth a little) - but some was just as I imagined it when I was under my covers reading it by flashlight after "bedtime". Was it the BEST MOV

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by greymond (539980)

      Based on the amount of movie, merchandise and people who keep buying the DVD's I would say you are in the minority with your feelings. Personally, I don't want them to make another one, but they will, my wife and I will probably see it with friends, and if it's a good movie (this doesn't mean 100% true to the book or my envisioning of the characters) then we might even buy the dvd er blue ray.

    • by Albert Sandberg (315235) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:43AM (#29365889) Homepage

      I never came pass the first book when I tried to read it as a kid because it was so damn booring.

      The movies kicked ass.

      I now read the books again and I think that the movie adds a lot (in all sense of the word) but I really think the books are still a bit boring. I think they followed the books as good as they possibly could.

      I really hope Jackson gets do do all movies in JRR's world.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:54AM (#29366017) Homepage Journal

      I read The Hobbit, loved it (even though I generally am not a fan of fantasy fiction*), read LOTR and thought it was very good if a bit depressing in parts, and loved the movies as well. Most movies don't follow their books very closely, but Jackson seemed to get the "feel" right; the characters and scenery pretty much matched what I saw when I read the books, even if it didn't follow the books exactly. Far better than the Ralph Bakshi [wikipedia.org] version.

      I have the extended versions on DVD, but I iked the theatrical versions better.

    • You're certainly not the only one I'm sure there are plenty of people who disliked the films after enjoying the books.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by magpie (3270)

      Apparently, the Tolkien Trust is supposed to be a charity. Businesses masquerading as charities seems to be de jour these days, not to mention the tax benefits....... I digress.

      Erm the Tolkien Trust does give out a substantial amount to the WWF amongst other things (seem to be big on fixing church roofs from a quick google) and well charities are businesses, they just don't pocket the profit. Hey you can't give money to people if you haven't made it.

  • Derivitive work (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arkham6 (24514) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:20AM (#29365529)
    " and for New Line to make other films based on Tolkien's work"

    Oh dear God, NO!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by artaxerxes (94297)

      Narn i [C]Hin Hurin please.

    • Remember the Ewok movies? It'll be like that, but with Hobbits. There will also be Saturday-morning cartoons. And "Lord of the Rings" Lego sets of famous scenes: Gandalf versus the Balrog, for example.

      Of course, we don't want to let boys have all the fun, so there will be a line of Elven Princess dolls for the girls, along with suitable makeup and "tree dollhouses". (They tried a line of Dwarf Princess toys, but the test marketing came back negative.)

      Finally, in the end, we'll have some cross-marketin

    • by julesh (229690)

      " and for New Line to make other films based on Tolkien's work"

      Oh dear God, NO!

      Yes, coming soon: The Adventures of Tom Bombadil: the movie.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by proslack (797189)
      Not into elf pr0n?
  • by burtosis (1124179) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @09:22AM (#29365581)
    One Trust to find them, One Trust to bring them all and in the darkness bind them...

    Courtesy of Melkor Publishing Inc...

  • becomes popular enough, and makes a substantial enough money, a holding corporation or trust is established to ensure the profits of said idea or book are maximized.

    the trust doesnt care about the storyline of the hobbit, the storylines of tolkiens other books, or their characters. The trust is designed to ensure that, through proper market research and extrapolation, tolkiens ideas and books generate the most revenue possible for the trust through vending tie ins, toys, additional books, and movies of c
    • This doesn't dismiss the fact that the studio licensed the rights to a book franchise, made three billion dollars on the movies and then claimed not to make a single buck in profits, a piece of which would go back to the licensee. The "trust" (or licensee) would be foolish not to do something. Defending the movie studios is just as stupid as anything else. If this were to happen to an author that was actually alive, would you still be so anti-trust?
  • ... has approached Raymond E. Feist yet?

    Magician would be epic, if done well.
    • Splendid idea. That is definately one of the best sagas out there.

      On a side note, while I was a lad working in retail books, I met Bill Fawcett, the sci-fi writer and editor. He indicated that Feist's work came out of an AD&D campaign he (Feist) DMed. Now that would have been a most awesome campaign! It makes me want to pull out my old bag of dice...
  • Seriously, we have a great LotR trilogy, and while other hobbit movies have sucked, we really don't need to keep rehashing this stuff. Lets move past remakes and start producing movies based on some of the newer fiction out there.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I just finished reading Thud [wikipedia.org], and although I'm generally not a fan of fantasy fiction (Tolkien and Pratchett are exceptions), I'd love to see a movie version of it, if well done and if Pratchett writes the screenplay.

  • Stentorian, yes, though not in this context. I believe "stentoriously" may be an unnecessary neologism.

  • The hobbit was my favorite of Tolkien's books. I'm very excited to see it coming to movie!
  • by czarangelus (805501) <iapetus&gmail,com> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @10:17AM (#29366355)
    Next he needs to film the Silmarillion. I expect at least two movies, possibly up to three. Needs more Valar. The two trees, Uglinaut, the duel between Melkor and Feanor, the fall of Numenor... it would kick ass.
  • Del Toro (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lymond01 (314120) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @10:23AM (#29366443)

    He wrote Pan's Labyrinth (one of the more disturbing films I've seen in the past, well, my life) and Hellboy 2. He has a distinctive style but the creatures in both films had a similar look and feel about them. I never saw Hellboy 2, only the previews, but the look of the film was similar, even with the light-heartedness of Hellboy's character. If nothing else, he should give an interesting take on the Hobbit, and it will likely be very different from Jackson's more traditional view of the epic series of books.

    The Lord of the Rings books, to me and to many others, consolidated our mythology of elves and orcs, swords and dragons. If you've played nethack (rogue), then you've probably heard of lembas wafers (elven waybread from the books). If you've played D&D, then you'll know the orcs, goblins, trolls...all based on mythology...were fleshed out in the Lord of the Rings and transferred to the D&D system. Only elves, oddly, are slightly different, probably for balance reasons as in the books they are basically superhuman immortals, better than humans in almost every way.

    The movies held true to the main plot, especially if you watched the extended editions (which saved Faramir's character). I have no idea why they wasted 5 minutes of movie time on the collapsing bridge scene in Fellowship of the Ring ("No one tosses a dwarf!"). I guess is it was just to build up to the balrog scene, which was pretty much spot on in terms of what the book says it should be. I don't love the movies since I'm a big fan of the books and find them better. But I appreciate them and find them very watchable. I know people who never read the books that consider those movies some of the best ever made, and I can see why. They really are a spectacle in terms of movie-making, especially the huge battles at the end of the 2nd and 3rd films. There's a fair amount of cheese and kiddish happenings, but they really do play to all audiences.

    • two huge reasons I loved the 1st movie: the Balrog scene, and the scene where Borimir becomes a human pin cushion. I liked the book version of Borimir's death better, but the way it was modified for the screen worked. Oh, and Gandalf.

      My only major complaint is they let the elves speak native and used subtitles but had all the other non-humans speaking English. They should have had the other races speaking native as well.

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