Pandora: Tolkien family feud heads for the courts

For all the success that the Lord Of The Rings trilogy enjoyed on the big screen, the ongoing bad blood between film executives and the family of JRR Tolkien, who wrote the books, has proved an unfortunate sub-plot.

The feud stems from allegations by the Tolkien Trust, run by the author's now elderly offspring Christopher and Priscilla, that it has not received "one penny" from the lucrative films. I now hear that matters will finally come to a head in October, following the confirmation of a trial date.

Should the Tolkiens prevail in their battle with Hollywood studio New Line Cinema, they could block the planned release of the "prequel" The Hobbit, which is again due to feature Sir Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf. "The litigation process is moving swiftly forward with the trial due to commence in Los Angeles on 19 October," says the family's spokesman Steven Maier. "It is expected to last several weeks."

Bonnie Eskenazi, a lawyer for the Oxford-based Tolkien Trust, adds: "Should this case go all the way through trial, we are confident New Line will lose its rights to release The Hobbit."

New Line's parent company Time Warner has declined to comment. The timing is worrying because The Hobbit's executive producer Peter Jackson and director Guillermo del Toro have started pre-production in New Zealand, with filming currently scheduled to commence next year.

Shock as footballer turns to philosophy

Rio Ferdinand appears in a rare philosophical mood after the revelation that he spoke to Michael Jackson before the star's death. The King of Pop took the trouble to telephone the England and Manchester United defender to wish him luck with his new online magazine. Only Diego Maradona, forever remembered for illegally scoring with his hand against England in the World Cup, rivals Jacko in the hero stakes, according to Ferdinand. "I guess they're both famous for their hands," he helpfully points out. "The glove and the Hand of God."

Tatchell departs for Cornish odyssey

Even fervent admirers of the gay rights activist Peter Tatchell could be forgiven for initially raising a quizzical eyebrow at his latest crusade.

Tatchell will be in Truro this weekend, banging the drum for "gay marriage and Cornish rights" – a curious-sounding combo, on first impressions. While not the most obvious of political bedfellows, Tatchell tells me: "The campaign for gay rights and Cornish rights both involve challenging injustice."

It is reassuring that no one is clutching at straws, then.

Fonda finds herself

Pandora doubts Jane Fonda will be knocking back sangria after unpacking her holiday bags. The actress reveals: "I leave tomorrow for a five-day retreat at the Upaya Zen Centre in New Mexico. on 'The Neurobiology of We'. It explores neurobiology of empathy, compassion and relatedness." Presumably the karaoke kicks off after that?

Vaizey's vagueness

Days after calling for BBC Radio 1 to be sold off, the Shadow broadcasting minister Ed Vaizey still refuses to reveal his favourite DJ from yesteryear.

Despite repeated requests throughout the week for this urgent matter to be clarified, Vaizey's spokeswoman now tells me: "It's probably not one of his priorities." I find that hard to believe!

pandora@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam