Jackson must be spewing | The Jackal

21 Nov 2012

Jackson must be spewing

On the back of bad publicity concerning the mistreatment of animals comes more bad news for the makers of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie just days out from its premiere at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

The estate of JRR Tolkien is suing the producers of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for causing "irreparable harm" to the author's legacy, just a week out from the film's official premiere in Wellington.

A $98 million lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles District Court by the Tolkien estate and its book publisher HarperCollins accuses Warner Bros, New Line Cinema and Saul Zaentz Co of copyright infringement and breach of contract.

It claims the studios did "irreparable harm" to Tolkien's legacy by authorising inappropriate merchandise based to his works, including Lord of the Rings-themed online gambling games, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

Clearly they're unhappy with the extensive commercialization of JRR Tolkien's work, with the estates attourney claiming that the defendants have:

With increasing boldness, engaged in a continuing and escalating pattern of usurping rights to which they are not entitled.

That means they're in breach of contract and copyright laws.

This is a huge headache for Peter Jackson. But unlike the animal abuse that was played down by the Academy award winning director because apparently no animals were hurt on set, the claim by JRR Tolkien's estate (PDF) concerning all non-tangible merchandise such as video games based on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit will be much harder to dismiss.

This will also receive widespread international attention, media attention that will cost the makers of the Hobbit at the box office. There goes that feel good coverage Warner Brothers was hoping for to promote the Hobbit movie's and much of their merchandise along with it... Peter Jackson must be spewing.