Movie news: Tolkien heirs settle with New Line

hobbit-book-coverTolkien lawsuit settled. The trustees of J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate have settled their lawsuit with New Line over the profits from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptations. Terms were not disclosed, but that’s certainly one less roadblock to The Hobbit adaption.

  • Industry. Warner Bros. is reorganizing DC Comics, relaunching it as DC Entertainment. Diane Nelson, who has overseen the Harry Potter movies, will run it.
  • Disney. There’s a new full-length trailer for The Princess and the Frog, awakening more than a bit of controversy. Meanwhile, the documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty, about Disney’s last return to traditional animation, sounds very interesting.
  • More, uh, Disney. Pixar folks deny that the Marvel project they’re “excited about” is not, as Entertainment Weekly reported, Ant-Man. I say Pixar is the only studio who could make me consider seeing an Ant-Man movie, and that barely.
  • He-Man. At least one property of my childhood is safe (for now:) Warner Brothers is dropping their option on Masters of the Universe. My embarrassment squick thanks them.
  • The Road. This years’ Viggo Mortensen genre fix has been pushed back to Thanksgiving.

Morning news sarcasm: High culture, low culture

operaHigh culture, with bunnies. A friend of mine actually went to see this production of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre involving lightsabers, but us uncultured barbarians are probably better off with Chuck Jones and DVDs.

High culture, geek edition. Does the world really need another Tolkien book? Apparently, yes.

It’s on TV! Variety’s Season Pass blog has a great interview with Lost‘s Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. Sorry, no snark here: If you watch the show, this is a must-read.

Video games. Bad reviews make creators sad? Come on guys, you work for LucasArts. Embrace the pain.

Not so fast, Hobbit fans

Tolkien’s son is making one last-ditch effort to block the production of The Hobbit:

… at a hearing on June 6 Christopher Tolkien will ask a Californian judge to back his claim that he can “terminate” film rights to The Hobbit. He is said to be furious with the New Line studio, which earned £3 billion from the Rings trilogy. Tolkien’s lawyers accuse New Line of “accounting chicanery”. Warner Bros, owner of New Line, declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Jackson and del Toro are moving forward with production, announcing that Sir Ian McKellen will return as Gandalf the Grey, Andy Serkis will be back as Gollum, and that Viggo Mortensen has been asked to reprise his role as Aragorn (even though Aragorn wasn’t in The Hobbit).

del Toro and his furry-footed friends

IMAGE: Bilbo, Bilbo BagginsWhile most seem happy, not every Ringer is thrilled that del Toro will be directing The Hobbit and its yet to be determined sequel (that might or might not fill in the space between The Hobbit and the start of the Lord of the Rings trilogy).

Andrew O’Hehir over on Salon is vexed that del Toro, a man who once told him he doesn’t like swords and sorcery, let alone “little guys and dragons, hairy feet, hobbits,” will helm the effort to bring Tolkien’s classic book to life. Kristin Thompson, of The Frodo Franchise fame, disagrees.

Meanwhile, on MTV, del Toro seeks to reassure fans and talks about his vision of the project. And, no, he won’t tell you how Smaug will appear.

Saturday @ NYCC ’08: And all the rest

So it seems that Seth Green had the biggest Star Wars news today… But Cinematical has pictures from the New York Comic Con, including one from Steve’s panel and several out-and-about troopers. Keep an eye on the nycc and newyorkcomiccon tags on Flickr for more shots.

Movie News: Indy IV, Wolverine, X-Files

Tolkien estate sues New Line Cinema

J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate and publisher HarperCollins are suing New Line Cinema, claiming that they have not received a penny of royalties from the estimated $6 billion the trilogy of The Lord of the Rings films have grossed worldwide. In addition to damages, the plaintiffs are seeking a court order giving the Tolkien estate the right to terminate any rights New Line may have to make films based on other works by the author, including The Hobbit.

The Hobbit is tentatively slated to begin production next year, with releases planned for 2010 and 2011, and such a court order would place current plans for this film in jeopardy.