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Old 05-30-2008, 01:10 PM   #81
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Rubbish.
Rubbish? In what sense do you mean, WCH?
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:18 PM   #82
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Yes, I too would like a bit more in the way of detail.
WCH - are you saying that - based on what you know - CT would be unhappy or upset if the film rights reverted to him and/or the Estate?
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:41 PM   #83
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Surely it is obvious he means rubbish to the "Christopher Tolkien is a miserable old git who only wants to spoil everyone's fun" cliche?
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:49 PM   #84
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Precisely, Mith.

Note also that the film rights aren't going to revert to the Estate: even if the court grants the plaintiffs' petition, all it means is that the Estate has the option to remove them from New Line/TW: and thus revert them back to Zaentz and MGM/UA.
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:56 PM   #85
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A slightly different question- Do you think the Tolkien Estate would ever be willing to sell rights to the UT?

That would mean that they could use things that are not in The Hobbit or Lotr but are realted to it.

My guess is no, though.


But think of it: The dwarves' battle in the North (During the WotR)
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:02 PM   #86
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A slightly different question- Do you think the Tolkien Estate would ever be willing to sell rights to the UT?
"Ever" is a long time. But certainly not Christopher, and the impression I get (which admittedly is merely that) is that Adam Tolkien feels the same way; at any rate, that is only one vote (alongside Baillie and Michael George Tolkien).
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:10 PM   #87
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Yes, I too would like a bit more in the way of detail.
WCH - are you saying that - based on what you know - CT would be unhappy or upset if the film rights reverted to him and/or the Estate?
Where's this idea that the Estate wants, or even expects, to get the film rights back come from? All I've seen is the following statement from the Tolkien Trust:

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The complaint seeks, among other things, in excess of $150 million in compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages, and a declaration from the Court that the plaintiffs have a right to terminate any further rights New Line may have to the Tolkien works under the agreements, including The Hobbit, due to the serious and material nature of the breach of the agreements.
which I interpret to mean that if New Line don't hand over what they owe then the Trust don't want New Line to be able to make any more movies based on Tolkien's work - which at worst would mean that Zaentz would be free to sell them to any other studio (who would then be free to hire Jackson & Del Toro, or whoever they wanted, to produce/direct.

If anyone has seen any statement from Christopher or anyone else associated with the Trust/Estate that they have any intention, or even desire, to get back the movie rights I'd be interested to hear it.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:23 PM   #88
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Moreover, neither Saul Zaentz nor MGM/UA are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which means that they cannot have rights taken away.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:25 PM   #89
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Who knows.....

Maybe if with new rights they could get the clout that say JK Rowling has over the Harry Potter movies they might release parts. I think Aldarion and Erendis could make a great film as one of the stories with real passion. I doubt they would ever just sell the lot - so much of it is undefinitive.

Of course since they are hamstringing the Hobbit to fit in with LOTR it may be closer to the Quest of Erebor .... and the quest for the ring will surely feature in the hotchpotch movie ... but thinking about that is far too depressing

I adore UT for all the extra information but I am not sure that there is much else that would really have enough for a stand alone movie. The Narn and Tuor are not complete in UT, Does the pact of Cirion and Eorl have the impact alone? If you separate it from its fulfilment at the Pellennor? If you remove the Disaster of the Gladden Fields and Orophir /Thranduil at the Battle of the last Alliance from the wider history of the Rings of Power is there a movie in them? Not sure.... wonderful episodes if you were doing a great epic tv serial but maybe not a film.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:33 PM   #90
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So, Christopher Tolkien has no interest, legal or otherwise, in getting the film rights back?
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:39 PM   #91
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So, Christopher Tolkien has no interest, legal or otherwise, in getting the film rights back?
Has he ever expressed any? That's what I asked. I've never seen any statement from him even mentioning a desire to have the movie rights back, but I'd be interested to know if he had.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:52 PM   #92
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Surely film rights must expire at some point? Since copyright expires eventually it seems illogical that film rights could last forever. At some point it must be open to everyone (like when there were two films of "Emma" in one year and "Valmont" and "Dangerous Liaisons" appeared more or less at the same time (both based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Laclos). In someways that might be a good thing - I hold that Tolkien's world is great enough to take different interpretations and visions.
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:04 PM   #93
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One way to offer predictions about the future is by studying the past. Let us speculate that someday, someway, somehow, CT and the Estate do get control of the film rights back to both LOTR and HOBBIT.

Would there be any reason to believe that they would treat them any differently than they treat potential film rights to every other piece of writing they currently control by JRRT?
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:07 PM   #94
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That's a very idle speculation, StW. Certainly the current lawsuit purports to do no such thing.
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:19 PM   #95
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Who knows what the new generation might do? Christopher has now passed both his parents in age and much as I hope the combination of Suffield genes and the advanced French healthcare system keep him on this side of the Sundering Sea for as long as possible, I doubt that film projects would feature heavily in what he would choose to do with the time left to him.

However I believe Adam's "day job" is lighting designer, Rachel has an art gallery, there are other "creative types" among the younger generation...not absolutely inconceivable that between them they might have the inclination, knowledge and nous to control any film-making themselves. There is a world of difference between commisioning an architect to build on your own land and flogging it off to a developer for a quick buck. Not saying that it would happen but I think I read a French interview with Adam that hinted at something... will try and find....
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:59 PM   #96
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I adore UT for all the extra information but I am not sure that there is much else that would really have enough for a stand alone movie. The Narn and Tuor are not complete in UT, Does the pact of Cirion and Eorl have the impact alone? If you separate it from its fulfilment at the Pellennor? If you remove the Disaster of the Gladden Fields and Orophir /Thranduil at the Battle of the last Alliance from the wider history of the Rings of Power is there a movie in them? Not sure.... wonderful episodes if you were doing a great epic tv serial but maybe not a film.
What I mean is that of course you can use the Quest of Erebor, and I think that maybe for movie 2 they could talk about the dwarf wars going on at the same time, but yes, you are right (but maybe that would be a reason that the Estate would be less reluctant to sell the rights).
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:43 PM   #97
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which I interpret to mean that if New Line don't hand over what they owe then the Trust don't want New Line to be able to make any more movies based on Tolkien's work - which at worst would mean that Zaentz would be free to sell them to any other studio (who would then be free to hire Jackson & Del Toro, or whoever they wanted, to produce/direct.
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Moreover, neither Saul Zaentz nor MGM/UA are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which means that they cannot have rights taken away.
I wasn't referring to the current lawsuit (Tolkien Family Trust vs NewLine) in my post (the one WCH referred to as rubbish); as a matter of fact, I haven't discussed the current lawsuit anywhere in this thread, thank you. If you harken back to what Sauron and I were actually discussing, it regarded the Tolkien Enterprise license, and what it specifically entails (or does not entail -- from a theoretic standpoint, obviously).

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If anyone has seen any statement from Christopher or anyone else associated with the Trust/Estate that they have any intention, or even desire, to get back the movie rights I'd be interested to hear it.
Actually, I'd be more intrigued to see a quote from C. Tolkien stating that has no interest or desire in retrieving the film rights; however, if he did so desire, from a legal standpoint he'd be daft to utter it in public.
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:41 AM   #98
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Actually, I'd be more intrigued to see a quote from C. Tolkien stating that has no interest or desire in retrieving the film rights;
Why on earth expect CRT (or anyone) to affirmatively state a negative? Do we routinely ask people to tell us everything they don't plan to do? Be reasonable.

Btw, I didn't call your whole post rubbish, merely the perpetuation of the bogeyman caricature-Christopher.
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:29 AM   #99
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Why on earth expect CRT (or anyone) to affirmatively state a negative? Do we routinely ask people to tell us everything they don't plan to do? Be reasonable.
Again, from a legal standpoint, I don't believe C. Tolkien would answer the question directly in either case. Would it be unreasonable for him to desire the film rights? On the contrary, he would be a lunatic if he didn't harbor interest in the return of the license. I would be quite amazed if he had never discussed what options the Family Trust had in that regard with his attorneys. But that is something that would never be discussed publicly, would it?

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the perpetuation of the bogeyman caricature-Christopher.
I referred to him as curmudgeonly, which by any stretch of the imagination he is (I have on occassion referred to myself as a curmudgeon, so I don't view the term as a pejorative). I admire Mr. Tolkien's adherence to principle regarding his father's legacy.
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:16 AM   #100
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In playing poker, and in dealings of serious nature, playing your cards close to the vest and not alerting the others to your true intentions are part and parcel of playing the game to your ultimate advantage.

Is there any reason why, at this point in time, CT needs to publicly announce that he wants control of the film rights back? If he sees the future legal proceedings going his way, can he not make adjustments to his legal strategy which go beyond what he has said so far through his attorneys?
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:20 AM   #101
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Is there any reason why, at this point in time, CT needs to publicly announce that he wants control of the film rights back?
Is there any reason why, at this point in time, CT needs to publicly announce that he wants an underground fortress full of flying monkeys?

This " wants control of the film rights back" comes from your imagination.
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:43 AM   #102
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Is there any reason why, at this point in time, CT needs to publicly announce that he wants an underground fortress full of flying monkeys?
An underground fortress full of flying monkeys? Now, WCH, that's just plain silly! Everyone knows flying monkeys need above-ground air space for take-offs and landings. How about a skull-shaped mountain fortress on an uncharted island?

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This " wants control of the film rights back" comes from your imagination.
Given Tolkien's scrupulous protection of his family's rights (right down to threatening a lawsuit against Dungeons and Dragons in the 70's for their use of the term 'hobbit' -- which was thereafter changed to 'halfling'), one has to consider what is reasonable in regards to this question. Is it reasonable to believe that the thought of continued digressions and outright inanities -- the appalling diminution of his father's literary legacy -- sticks in Christopher's craw like an undigested piece of pork? I would think any reasonable person would answer in the affirmative.

Is it reasonable to think that if the legal opportunity existed for the Tolkien Family Trust to regain the film rights, would they would not grab that chance as if it were the One Ring itself? Again, it is reasonable to believe so.

Has Christopher Tolkien said publicly he wishes to get the film rights back? No, but then again he doesn't grant interviews; however, it is reasonable to believe that the thought has crossed his mind on more than one occassion.
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:56 PM   #103
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Given Tolkien's scrupulous protection of his family's rights (right down to threatening a lawsuit against Dungeons and Dragons in the 70's for their use of the term 'hobbit' -- which was thereafter changed to 'halfling'), one has to consider what is reasonable in regards to this question.
Well, if Gygax had been more widely read he might have a) been able to defend his use of the word Hobbit by citing the Denham Tracts, & b) have produced a game that was a little more than a bad rip off of Tolkien...

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Is it reasonable to think that if the legal opportunity existed for the Tolkien Family Trust to regain the film rights, would they would not grab that chance as if it were the One Ring itself? Again, it is reasonable to believe so.
Surely there's all the difference in the world between protecting what you own & lusting for something you don't?
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:46 PM   #104
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Well, if Gygax had been more widely read he might have a) been able to defend his use of the word Hobbit by citing the Denham Tracts, & b) have produced a game that was a little more than a bad rip off of Tolkien...?
What is humorous about Gygax is that to his dying day (he died this year) he claimed that Tolkien elements in his game were only added because of fans' insistence, and that he found Lord of the Rings "too slow-paced for me."

The most apt quote regarding Gygax was the memorable: "Gary Gygax is a collector of vintage Tolkien pornography."

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Surely there's all the difference in the world between protecting what you own & lusting for something you don't?
Would something that close to your heart, and something that is so inextricably wound through through the very fabric of your life be simply disregarded or lopped off like an unnecessary appendage? A sort of literary appendix? It would certainly be irksome to me to see my father's (and from an emotional and editorial extent, my own) work be out of my control.

As a retired musician (I no longer play the pub circuit or record) I can tell you that I personally know many folks who have spent years trying to retrieve their works -- the rights for which they legally signed away in a time of youthful naivety or due to financial straits. I see no difference in this instance.
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:45 PM   #105
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yes folks, but be careful, be very careful , unless you have an interview with Christopher Tolkien that has been authenticated and legally certfied by a panel of attorneys stating very clearly and without any shading stating that

"I HATE THOSE DAMN MOVIES AND WANT THOSE RIGHTS BACK AS MINE"

you risk being labeled here as a wild speculator who has no evidence for your ridiculous claims.

Forget that much of what we do here is speculation ... throw all that to the wind. Either present your legally certified documents which will stand up in court or just get out of the way. That has been made clear to me.
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:49 PM   #106
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Ok.... I'd be willing to bet that if Saul Zaentz was to walk up to CT & offer him the movie rights back, gratis, with no strings attached, Ct would take them, thank him politely, & probably offer him a glass of Old Winyards or equivalent, but...

That's not the point at issue here. None of us know what CT wants in regards to the movie rights. Maybe he does want them back, maybe not.

What do we actually know about CT's attitude to the PJ movies in particular, & to visual adaptations of his father's work in general. Well, we know (via Mr Hicklin) that he doesn't care for PJ's adaptation of LotR. We also know that he feels his father's work is particularly unsuitable to visual representation. Finally, we know that he has refused to sell the film rights to any of his father's other writings. What can we surmise from those facts about his desire, or otherwise, to get back the film rights to LotR & TH?

Absolutely nothing. The fact that he didn't like what Jackson did with his father's work is hardly 'evidence'. Tolkien himself thought Humphrey Carpenter's plan to put on a high school play of TH was 'silly' (& told HC that to his face, but went on to state that if Carpenter wanted to do so who was he (ie Tolkien) to stop him - & even went on to suggest tunes for the songs & actually attend the performance. And as far as refusing to sell the rights to any further writings that may have as much to do with his experience with New Line's refusal to hand over what they owe, & with the fuss of negotiating the contract, as with any kind of 'moral' objection.

Now, I have absolutely no idea what CT's feelings are re the movie rights - mayhap he spends every waking moment scheming to get them back. Or maybe he has no desire at all for them. And that, gentlemen, is the point. None of us know what CT wants. You can speculate as much as you want but ultimately you won't get any closer to the truth. CT is the only one who knows what he feels about the film rights, & so far (again, as far as I know) he's said absolutely nothing about it.
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:26 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by davem View Post
What do we actually know about CT's attitude to the PJ movies in particular, & to visual adaptations of his father's work in general. Well, we know (via Mr Hicklin) that he doesn't care for PJ's adaptation of LotR. We also know that he feels his father's work is particularly unsuitable to visual representation. Finally, we know that he has refused to sell the film rights to any of his father's other writings. What can we surmise from those facts about his desire, or otherwise, to get back the film rights to LotR & TH?...Absolutely nothing.
Let's see, he didn't care for the adaptation of LotR (and from what I've read, that is an understatement), he doesn't feel his father's work is suitable for visual representation, and he has steadfastly refused to sell any of the film rights he currently holds.

Let's see, that's three negatives regarding film rights, and you say there is nothing to be surmised by that? *rolls eyes*

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Originally Posted by davem View Post
You can speculate as much as you want but ultimately you won't get any closer to the truth. CT is the only one who knows what he feels about the film rights, & so far (again, as far as I know) he's said absolutely nothing about it.
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White
Forget that much of what we do here is speculation ... throw all that to the wind. Either present your legally certified documents which will stand up in court or just get out of the way. That has been made clear to me.
Well then, satis verborum.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:17 AM   #108
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Okay, you want to see evidence of such an intention, or the reverse?

In 2011-12 (Lord of the Rings) and 2013 (Hobbit) the Estate will have the right under US copyright law to cancel and revoke *every* single assignment of copyright JRRT ever made in his lifetime. (No kidding- it's called 'copyright reclamation' and you can look it up). Although it wouldn't apply to the rest of the world, without US film rights no studio would ever undertake such an expensive project.

So wait and see.
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:26 AM   #109
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My goodness, people, the man has a right to his own private thoughts and life! Please stop playing paparazzi and get back to the topic of this thread. No more second-guessing irrelevant matters that concern only CRT himself and are not the public's business until they become such. Let's give JRRT's family at least a bit of the respect we have for him.
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:57 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
Okay, you want to see evidence of such an intention, or the reverse?

In 2011-12 (Lord of the Rings) and 2013 (Hobbit) the Estate will have the right under US copyright law to cancel and revoke *every* single assignment of copyright JRRT ever made in his lifetime. (No kidding- it's called 'copyright reclamation' and you can look it up). Although it wouldn't apply to the rest of the world, without US film rights no studio would ever undertake such an expensive project.
Yes, I had forgotten that codicil of US copyright law. Paul McCartney has already stated he will exercise his rights under that law to reclaim the US copyrights for the Beatles catalog held by Sony (from Michael Jackson) when they revert in a few years. Can Yoko be far behind?

As far as the 2nd movie, one would think that there will be at least a portion of it devoted to the dwarves who played such a large part in the Hobbit (or perhaps they will just disappear like the elves did after the battle of Helm's Deep in TT). I would suggest that Balin's colony at Moria will get some sort of treatment; after all, they can ressurrect the Balrog from the Weta vaults for some more pyrotechnics (I use the balrog scene in FotR to test the DTS on my surround sound). At least with the Balin character there can be direct continuity from the Hobbit, through the 2nd film and into FotR.

Perhaps the meeting of Gandalf and Balin with Bilbo in the Shire can be a tie-in for the Moria segment.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:48 PM   #111
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alright. so I've trolled Tolkien forums for a long time now, and have been biding my time to post...but it seems about time to give in.

After reading through this thread I have a couple things to say. First of all, someone commented way back on the first page that many of today's movie goers are too busy to read long 'boring' books when they can just watch the movie and be entertained by good looks and fast moving action. And alas, that is far too common...however I would like to present that there are many exceptions to that, myself included. So often I find in Tolkien communities a steadfast opinion that anyone under the age of 20(ish), who was introduced to Tolkien through the Lord of the Rings films cannot have a true appreciation for what the books really stand for. Now, I'm sure it is not deliberately intended that way, but it is nonetheless the impression that is created.
However, I was introduced to the wonders of Tolkien through the films, and they fascinated me enough to dig a little deeper into the original material. To be fair, I have always been one for good literature over new-fangled entertainment like reality television, cheap movies, and the boorish celebrity news that populates much of our entertainment industry...but that being said, I think some credit must be given to the films for introducing a new generation of readers to the books, even if the percentage of those who really become passionate about Tolkien's writing is small compared to the masses of people who saw the films. That alone must be worth something...
I now love all of Tolkien's work, and while I enjoy the films as well, I do not see them to be of equal stature to the books, which are pure gems. But perhaps I'm just a rarity in that sense...
All I'm trying to say is that the films do deserve some recognition as a gateway to the greater world of Middle Earth in its literary form.

Secondly, about the whole film rights/should parts of the Sil or CoH be made into films/money vs. art issue.
I hope to goodness I never live to see the day that the Silmarillion be made into a film or television series or anything close to that. I think it to be impossible to ever visually capture the intricacies of stories that are not completely fleshed out without completing re-inventing the proverbial wheel. They would no longer be the magical tales we have grown to love and cherish; instead, a film based on the entirety of the Silmarillion would be a rough caricature of what the books is, and a long drawn out 'historical' documentary series would be unbearable to me because there is no way the budget could be big enough to sustain such an immense production at a level of sufficient cinematic quality.
That being said, I am a film student with a specific interest in screenwriting and directing, and I see the possibility of taking a select few of the stories from the Silmarillion and creating great films. I would LOVE to one day be priveleged enough to render the story of Beren and Luthien onto celluloid. I think out of all the tales of the first and second ages it is the most likely to be adaptable to film, WITHOUT compromising the integrity of Tolkien's vision of it. Frankly I think it would make a beautiful piece of cinema. However, I doubt it would ever manage to escape the perversion of the current studio system without being scarred, and as such I wouldn't want myself or any other filmmaker to be limited in their telling of Beren and Luthien in that way. So unless I become fabulously rich at some point in the near future, and am able to independently approach CT (or whoever is in charge of the Tolkien Estate by then) with proof that I would be faithful to the art of that story...or the world ends and the Hollywood studio system is brought down and drastically changed, I very much doubt that I will ever have the opportunity.
And as for the film rights question, I'm just going to leave that alone because it is well beyond my control...however, I will say that I think CT would not be opposed to film adaptations of his father's work if film could be shown to do justice to the books, and that the original material would be created with utmost respect.

And thirdly, to address with this thread is actually about...I suppose what I would wish to see in this 'sequel' movie is the story of Gollum entering Mordor, being tracked by Aragorn and Gandalf...Aragorn's friendship with Gandalf and love for Arwen...Balin would make a great tie-in to LotR...
and I will say that I still have some faith in PJ, especially with del Toro on board. I think he will bring new eyes and perhaps a renewed interest in capturing the essence of the books, thus creating a counter-opinion to PJ's in the writing process. but then again, I'm an optimist for the most part...

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:05 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Olrin the White View Post
So often I find in Tolkien communities a steadfast opinion that anyone under the age of 20(ish), who was introduced to Tolkien through the Lord of the Rings films cannot have a true appreciation for what the books really stand for. Now, I'm sure it is not deliberately intended that way, but it is nonetheless the impression that is created.
However, I was introduced to the wonders of Tolkien through the films, and they fascinated me enough to dig a little deeper into the original material. To be fair, I have always been one for good literature over new-fangled entertainment like reality television, cheap movies, and the boorish celebrity news that populates much of our entertainment industry...but that being said, I think some credit must be given to the films for introducing a new generation of readers to the books, even if the percentage of those who really become passionate about Tolkien's writing is small compared to the masses of people who saw the films. That alone must be worth something...
I now love all of Tolkien's work, and while I enjoy the films as well, I do not see them to be of equal stature to the books, which are pure gems. But perhaps I'm just a rarity in that sense...
All I'm trying to say is that the films do deserve some recognition as a gateway to the greater world of Middle Earth in its literary form.
Yeah, well I agree and disagree.

For the disagreement, I'm under 20 (Actually 14) and I read the books soon after the last film came out. Then I read The Silm, The UT, and BoLT. I'd already ready TH. And I like the books much more (though the EE improves it a lot, except for the Gandalf vs. WK scene- Gandalf's a Maia for Eru's sake). The movies don't even come close to me. And I know other people who feel the same way.

But I agree that they help people read the books, and even though I probably would have read it anyway, the films definitely gave me more enthusiasm to read the books.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:40 AM   #113
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But I agree that they help people read the books, and even though I probably would have read it anyway, the films definitely gave me more enthusiasm to read the books.
It was the movies that got me hooked onto the books. I didn't even know what the Lord of the Rings was seven years ago, but when I heard what the FotR movie was all about I went to see it, and I came away from it thinking, "Wow, I got to read the books by this Tolkien guy!" I finished the books in two weeks and couldn't wait for the other two movies to come out.
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