Christopher Tolkien who is the son of J.R.R. Tolkien and who in 1977 published The Silmarillion from his fathers notes following his death has called for “One Last Crusade” as he sets off from his home in England for a date in the courts of California on June 6th in an attempt to stop work going ahead on The Hobbit movies.
Tolkien jr, now 83 years young spent the best part of 4 years working on The Silmarillion after his father died in 1973 and is said by his autobiographer to be “cantankerous” claims The Tolkien Trust charity of which he is a board member is owed in the region of 80 million dollars by New Line Cinema (who else??).
When his father reluctantly sold the movie rights to The Lord of the Rings to pay a tax debt, as a persuasive sweetener to seal the deal it was agreed that the charity would receive a 7.5% share of profits any future movies would make.
He is to ask the judge to terminate the rights to The Hobbit movie because of the breach of contract. Relatives say he is “furious” with New Line Cinema and has always been sceptical of Hollywood. Even now relatives are still unsure whether he has seen any of The Lord Of The Rings movies.
If the judge turns down his request or if Warner Bros fail to step in and settle the debt (the money is to carry out charity work world wide so it would be good press) we can expect Christopher Tolkien to put up an even bigger fight over the proposed second Hobbit movie which is to be based on The Silmarillion, a book he devoted years to and to which he would probably be seen by courts to have a greater say in regarding movie rights.
My guess is a deal will be struck my Warner Bros who have already committed themselves to spending $150 million to the making of the 2 Hobbit movies. Each of The Lord Of The Rings Movies made around $1 billion.