The Hobbit Movie Release Date: Ahead of US Opening, Tolkien Estate Sues Producers

More problems for the producers of the The Hobbit, the upcoming epic fantasy-adventure film trilogy, directed, co-written and produced by Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings) and based on J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit —  which will debut on U.S.' theaters this December 14. 

First, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first installment of the prequel trilogy to Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, was accused by PETA of the supposed killing of 27 animals during the film's production in New Zealand (for which PETA called for a boycott).

And now, J.R.R.Tolkien’s estate has filed a lawsuit accusing the producers of overstepping their rights with regards to merchandise, causing Tolkien’s legacy “irreparable harm” — according to the NYDN.  

The $80 million lawsuit was filed last Monday against Warner Bros., New Line Cinema and the Saul Zaentz Company’s Middle Earth Enterprises on the grounds that the merchandizing rights extended only to “tangible” products such as “figurines, tableware, stationery, clothing and the like;” and not to “electronic or digital rights” -- such as a tentative online gambling game which is supposedly in the works and may cause "irreparable harm to Tolkien's legacy and reputation and the valuable goodwill generated by his works."


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