Lord of the Rings legal battle between Tolkien estate and Warner Bros. ends

Over wizards, hobbits, and elves appeared on slot machines

Jack Shepherd
Tuesday 04 July 2017 14:39 BST

Since the release of the groundbreaking Peter Jackson-directed trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien’s estate has had multiple issues with Warner Bros. regarding the adaptation.

One such problem stems back to 2009 when the estate and studio were forced to reach a settlement after the author’s representatives claimed they were owed millions in profits.

Another was Christopher Tolkien’s thoughts on the films, the author’s son — despite denial — having been rumoured to disproved.

Things once again came to a head in 2012, when the estate and studio went head-to-head in a legal scuffle, Christopher publicly saying the films "eviscerated" the book, calling out the commercialisation of the original work.

According to Variety, the conflict between the two parties stemmed from Warner Bros. allowing wizards, hobbits, elves, and other creatures feature on slot machines and other games.

Tolkien’s estate, along with publisher HarperCollins claimed the studio never had those licensing rights, Warner Bros. countersuing, alleging the complaint cost them millions in license fees.

After years of battling, an undisclosed agreement has been met, a Warner Bros. spokesperson issuing a statement, reading: “The parties are pleased that they have amicably resolved this matter and look forward to working together in the future.”

Terms of the settlement have not been publicly revealed, but no costs or fees have been awarded by a court, and neither party is entitled to recover the fees.

Meanwhile, Beren and Lúthien — an unreleased Tolkien story about an immortal Elf falling in love with a mortal man — was finally published after 100 years

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