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Old 02-23-2008, 12:45 AM   #81
zxcvbn
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Galin, it seems my discussion with you has reached a dead end. Regardless of how I reply, you seem to be repeating the same point over and over; that Jackson is guilty because he 'chose' to put 'fabricated' Elvish in the films. I once again reply that Jackson would not know that the Elvish was fabricated, and from his perspective(as well as most other fans') Salo's Elvish is the real thing. And indeed, whether or not it matches what Tolkien had in mind in his last years, it has been constructed using the Professor's own texts as a basis(use of loan words, earlier drafts etc.).

And as for maintainging the 'feel' of Middle-earth, it certainly sounds quite authentic, even if the exact words are somewhat different(something only a few people like Hostetter could make out).
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:33 AM   #82
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It's easy enough: if one wants unassailable accuracy (and authenticity) use what you find in the books.
I understand your point and respect that it means something important to you and some others who share your love of the Professors Elvish . (and special bonus points to Bethberry for the best line of the month on the Elvish leaving the building). However, not meaning to be rude, but one is tempted to say "so what"? What does it matter to the construction, flow and success of LOTR as a film if the Elvish is used word for word, is changed slightly, or is invented out of whole cloth ? It really has no impact or effect on the film as a film.

Why would a filmmaker want "unassailable accuracy and authenticity" by using what they find in the books if it does not help them in constructing the story as a film? That is one of their main priorities and helps to determine the success of a film. The idea of "unassailable accuracy" means little or nothing in determining the overall success of a film.

I am not trying to belittle your position. Just to clarify that your priorities are clearly not the priorities of the world of commercial filmmakers.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:08 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxcvbn
Galin, it seems my discussion with you has reached a dead end. Regardless of how I reply, you seem to be repeating the same point over and over; that Jackson is guilty because he 'chose' to put 'fabricated' Elvish in the films. I once again reply that Jackson would not know that the Elvish was fabricated, and from his perspective(as well as most other fans') Salo's Elvish is the real thing.
He can read, of course. You appear to be defending Jackson for being ignorant enough to not even bother to check the books, or have someone do it for him. I'm not going to blame Salo for that either. And you are simplifying what I'm saying Jackson 'chose' to do -- see below.

Quote:
And indeed, whether or not it matches what Tolkien had in mind in his last years, it has been constructed using the Professor's own texts as a basis(use of loan words, earlier drafts etc.). And as for maintainging the 'feel' of Middle-earth, it certainly sounds quite authentic, even if the exact words are somewhat different(something only a few people like Hostetter could make out).
If you disagree with Mr. Hostetter fine (as I said); but he is not talking about the sound or the exact words, but the type of language.

The 'taste' of Sindarin is well enough represented in my opinion -- but I have no great praise for anyone who decided to construct phrases like 'Sit down Legolas' and a pile of other similar Neo-language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sauron the White
I understand your point and respect that it means something important to you and some others who share your love of the Professors Elvish . (and special bonus points to Bethberry for the best line of the month on the Elvish leaving the building). However, not meaning to be rude, but one is tempted to say "so what"? What does it matter to the construction, flow and success of LOTR as a film if the Elvish is used word for word, is changed slightly, or is invented out of whole cloth ? It really has no impact or effect on the film as a film.
That's a different discussion that I have not really entered into here. If you want to start a new thread on it I will be happy to read it and maybe contribute.

Quote:
Why would a filmmaker want "unassailable accuracy and authenticity" by using what they find in the books if it does not help them in constructing the story as a film? That is one of their main priorities and helps to determine the success of a film. The idea of "unassailable accuracy" means little or nothing in determining the overall success of a film.
Nor would 'unassailable accuracy and authenticity' regarding the Elvish necessarily hurt the overall success of a film -- but as I have already stated, a measure of constructed Elvish in the film would not bother me. What Jackson did do goes beyond that however.

Quote:
I am not trying to belittle your position. Just to clarify that your priorities are clearly not the priorities of the world of commercial filmmakers.
My priority would be to successfully adapt the spirit of the source material to film, and create a successful film too. That includes the languages, including the matter Mr. Hostetter speaks to regarding the tone and feel -- which does not mean Jackson needed to use only the Elvish found in the books.

The point was: if Jackson was so concerned with accuracy he could have easily achieved it by incorporating only the Elvish from the books. Ok he didn't, so, so much for 'accuracy' step one.

But I wouldn't be criticizing him today if all he did was add some constructed stuff of the same order as Tolkien's actual Elvish -- he went beyond adding fabricated Elvish, he added stuff of a different feel from the books and chose to largely discard Tolkien attested examples along the way. So, if one tries to paint Peter Jackson as the director in search of linguistic accuracy, because he hired an expert -- let's remember that at the same time he's largely tossing Tolkien's actual Elvish out the window.

Yes Jackson desired a measure and type of 'accuracy', once he decided that he was going to approach the languages his way that is.

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Old 02-23-2008, 12:37 PM   #84
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New Line's Rights are they Miramax which are Zaentz which are UA

On page 7 and 8 of the compliant, the compliant traces the history of the rights from UA, to Zaentz to Miramax to New Line.

The compliant says, on point 27 on page 7
"In or about August, 1998, Zaentz consented to Miramax's assignment to defendant New Line of Miramax's rights and obligations under the Miramax agreement.

Pursuant to a written agreement effective May 9, 2000 between New Line and Zaentz (the "New Line/Zaentz Agreement"), New Line expressly assumed the obligations to pay plaintiffs their Gross Receipts Participation required by the 1969 Agreements with respect to any films based on the Literary Works produced by or pursuant to the authority of New Line. In sum, UA, Zaentz and Miramax are predecessors in interest of New Line and New Line "stands in their shoes." "

My question then is this. Is the compliant saying that New Line holds all the obligations and rights of the former holders, thus they must be held to them? I would assume that the answer is yes. Thus could you take say that later in the compliant, when the plaintiffs ask the court to rule on whether they have the right to cancel New Line's rights to making films on based on any of the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, could the plaintiffs legal team argue that since New Line "stands in their shoes" (UA, Zaentz, Miramax) that this would also cancel the rights of Zaentz and MGM and give the rights back to them, the plaintiffs (especially since Zaentz agreed to to the transfer of rights from Miramax to New Line)? This would allow them to sell the rights again under more profitable terms and thus would be a further punitive damage to the parties concern (in addition to the money NL will have to pay to them)? I guess I'm asking that if a breech by New Line to the agreement, voids the agreement for all parties since New Line is "standing in their shoes?" Can that be argued and if so, what are the chances that a court would do that, restore all rights back to the plaintiffs?

Any clarification would be appreciated.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:56 PM   #85
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ArathornJax has asked the jackpot question. And I thank him for making it so clear. I also would like answers on that issue and ask in a slightly different way.

Is it possible that once they get into court (or before for that date) the Estate can make a demand that since Zaentz is the actual rights holder and New Line only a temporary lessee, that Zaentz is somehow someway responsible in the final analysis for making sure that the Estate got their rightful payment?

And .... if Zaentz did not somehow someway make sure that the Estate got their rightful payment then he is just as guilty of not paying the Estate theri rightful cut as New Line is?

And ... the rub would then be ..... take away the rights from not only New Line but also from Zaentz too since he is guilty of not protecting the Estate.
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Old 02-23-2008, 01:08 PM   #86
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The Complaint never proposes ending anyone's rights other than New Lines; and allows for protecting the interests of 'innocent parties.'

The court will look, not at one big indivisble parcel of rights- 'THE' rights- but as several chunks of rights which have been split up. UA never sold the Hobbit distribution rights to anybody, and there's no way they can lose them. Zaentz effectively split the rights he held in the licensing deal with Miramax- he sold the right to make films which commence production through 2008, but held onto the right to all films after that. The court can't take away Zaentz' 'reversionary interest' just because the other chunk of rights was mishandled after he sold them.

Although creative lawyers could in theory try to make a case that Zaentz is somehow at fault for New Line's non-performance, this suit *does not do so*. Zaentz is not a defendant, nor does the complaint allege any wrongdoing or negligence on his part.

It's a basic rule of plaintiff-side pleading that "The court can't give you what you don't ask for." The Estate has *not* asked for the termination of any rights not in New Line's hands. Again- were the Estate interested in taking rights away from Zaentz, then the Complaint would have named him as a defendant and alleged why he deserves to lose the rights. It didn't.
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Old 02-23-2008, 01:26 PM   #87
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Thanks!

Thank you WCH for clarifying that for me. It will be interesting to see how this falls out.
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:05 PM   #88
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if Jackson was so concerned with accuracy he could have easily achieved it by incorporating only the Elvish from the books. Ok he didn't, so, so much for 'accuracy' step one.
What Peter Jackson was concerned with was making the best possible film he could make and having that film be a success by the standard measurements common in the commercial film business. And by those measurements it was a wild success.

Accuracy ---- what the heck is that? No film adaption is anything near the realm of "accuracy". Its an entirely different medium. One cannot adapt anything accurately from a book into the far different medium of film unless you use the book as your shooting script . Anything else is change. Accuracy regarding something as an obscure language which hardly anyone speaks is irrelevant as far as a films success is concerned. It would mean nothing either way and as such is a non issue.
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Old 02-23-2008, 11:14 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White
What Peter Jackson was concerned with was making the best possible film he could make and having that film be a success by the standard measurements common in the commercial film business. And by those measurements it was a wild success. (...) Accuracy ---- what the heck is that? No film adaption is anything near the realm of "accuracy". Its an entirely different medium. One cannot adapt anything accurately from a book into the far different medium of film unless you use the book as your shooting script . Anything else is change. Accuracy regarding something as an obscure language which hardly anyone speaks is irrelevant as far as a films success is concerned. It would mean nothing either way and as such is a non issue.
I note that now accuracy is irrelevant when you shift the context to 'film success'. Earlier however, you were suggesting we roll out some praise for Jackson with your statement: 'Instead of criticizing Jackson for this effort, it would seem some praise is in order for him attempting to go the extra mile to get things right.'

Should we praise Jackson for his pursuit of accuracy in this matter? Or should we just note that it's irrelevant anyway with respect to 'film success'?

How the emphasis appears to have shifted

And if we stick to the subject of accuracy with respect to the Elvish then it's not really all that hard, of course, or overly mysterious, to keep things Tolkien-made if desired.

I'm not a scholar of the invented languages. That noted, had anyone hired me to represent JRRT's Elvish tongues in a film I feel reasonably confident I could: A) find the Elvish in the books for the director B) tell him what the examples mean using the sources available C) help with pronunciation D) add my thoughts concerning the creative task of incorporating the attested Elvish into the films.

No, I'm not going to praise Jackson for hiring someone to fabricate a different order of Elvish while largely tossing Tolkien's Elvish aside. And I see no great reason to blame Salo either.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:54 AM   #90
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I can only note that CT did not get too hung up on correct pronunciation - in the tape he made as a pronunciation guide for the radio adaptation he pointed out that the 'correct' pronunciation of, say, Celeborn would be 'Keleborrn', but that in a modern dramatisation that wasn't necessary & 'Keleborn' would be acceptable. He also stated that in many cases there wasn't a 'correct' pronunciation of all words. The important thing, as far as he was concerned, was to avoid obvious mistakes in pronunciation - like 'Soron', etc.

Oh, & if anyone wants to hear some of that tape its available on a CD from Nigel Sustins via his website http://www.biblio.com/search.php?aut...at=any&stage=1
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'Microphones in Middle-Earth', talks given at Church House, Westminster, relating to the BBC Radio dramatisation of Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' on 5th March 1981. [Track 1] Brian Sibley and Michael Bakewell, co-adapters of the series, talk about how they tackled the task (33 minutes); [Track 2] Penny Leicester, co-producer, Stephen Oliver, composer, David Collings, actor (Legolas) and Peter Woodthorpe, actor (Gollum) discuss their work on the series (39 minutes).
It only includes the first few minutes of the CT recording, but its very interesting to hear his attitude to dramatisation.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:01 AM   #91
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I note that now accuracy is irrelevant when you shift the context to 'film success'. Earlier however, you were suggesting we roll out some praise for Jackson with your statement: 'Instead of criticizing Jackson for this effort, it would seem some praise is in order for him attempting to go the extra mile to get things right.'

Should we praise Jackson for his pursuit of accuracy in this matter? Or should we just note that it's irrelevant anyway with respect to 'film success'?
You seem to be a stickler for the tiniest iota of detail so allow me to add a few qualifying words to my original statement....

Jackson went the extra mile to get things right as necessary for the film. I had thought that was implied from my comments but I guess that was my fault for not making it more clear. So I do so here.

Over the years we have seen countless discussions of this type where someone has a particular deep interest or love of one specific aspect of the book and is angry or dissapointed that it was altered for the movie. Here it seems to be Elvish. With others its the hair color of Legolas or Boromir. With others its the lack of facial hair on Denethor. Others claim that Theoden is too young and virile. And on it goes without end.

We are discussing the movie. When we discuss the movie it is relevant to mention that the film was a rousing success by most standard industry measurements because that is the final test of such commercial ventures. To the vast majority of the six hundred ticket buyers of the films, it did not matter if the hair color of Legolas or Boromir was correct or how long ago Denethor had stopped shaving or if a phrase of Elvish was accurate or had been cobbled together from someones imigination. It matered not to them because the film worked. It worked.

Peter Jackson had no obligation to make his film as accurate as possible or as faithful as possible or as bookish as possible. None at all. Because none of those things matter in the final judgment as to the film working as a film.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:19 AM   #92
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Of course, one has always to keep in mind that he didn't have to make the film at all, & that having freely chosen to make it he was never, ever, ever, ever ever going to escape criticism from some lovers of the books because THIS IS TOLKIEN.

Tolkien's work, for whatever reason, inspires a deep & abiding love in the hearts of many of those who read it. It changes their lives & makes them different people. When someone comes along & starts playing around with it, changing it - however good their reasons - they will bring down on themselves the 'righteous ire' of those fans.

You have to keep in mind that LotR is not simply another book as far as many readers are concerned, & lovers of the book feel a deep attachment to it. LotR is a pretty unique case among works of fiction - how many novels from the mid fifties are still so popular that they are still published, & sell massively, in hardback? Harper Collins in the UK must have a half dozen different hardback editions in print & as many in paperback - teverything from cheap mass market paperbacks at one extreme to expensive slip-cased deluxe editions at the other. And this is not down to the movies - it has pretty much always been the case that both standard & deluxe hardbacks of LotR have been available.

And we need to put aside this 'the movies are not the books' thing once & for all. The producers have gone out of their way to tie the movies in with the books - the SEE versions come in cases designed to look like books, & the on-screen menus are designed to look like books (even down to using the term 'Appendices' rather than the usual 'Extras' on the 'pages'). DVD 'chapter titles' are in most cases taken from the chapter names in the book. Jackson & the producers have gone out of their way to tie the movies in with the books - to the extent of employing two of the best loved Tolkien book illustrators as production designers. Jackson didn't have to do any of that.

Put simply - no-one is more 'guilty' of attempting to tie the movies directly into the books than Jackson himself. If he then finds himself criticised for not being faithful to the books I don't think he's really got grounds for complaint. If he hadn't wanted his movies to be judged by the books he could have done a great deal more to distance the two. Try listening to the commentary tracks & counting how many times Jackson, et al, talk about 'being faithful to the book'.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:25 AM   #93
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davem

I do think your latest post was written from the heart and contains a great deal of truth. Your point about the lasting qualities of these tales rings very true and it certainly is obvious that millions of readers love the LOTR far more than the average book which comes and goes from bookstore and library shelves with little notice.

I especially find your words to be very poignant when you state

Quote:
Tolkien's work, for whatever reason, inspires a deep & abiding love in the hearts of many of those who read it. It changes their lives & makes them different people.
You have to keep in mind that LotR is not simply another book as far as many readers are concerned, & lovers of the book feel a deep attachment to it. LotR is a pretty unique case among works of fiction - how many novels from the mid fifties are still so popular that they are still published, & sell massively, in hardback?
But having said that, I think this statement

Quote:
And we need to put aside this 'the movies are not the books' thing once & for all.
is simply an attempt to find a way around one of the most convincing and obvious points in this continuing discussion. To put away this idea that the movies are not the books once and for all would be akin to all agreeing that what is reality is simply not. It is simply not true and to accept your idea would be a betrayal of reason and fact. Yes, I realize that my saying this angers many here and they would rather not hear about it again. Several have pointed out to me that they tire of hearing it, reading it, and responding to it. I imagine they would be happier in an environment where those nasty realities are never mentioned.

A book is one thing and a movie is another thing. The characteristics, elements, qualities, features, assets and liabilities of one are not the same as the other. To deny that is to deny real world reality.

The fact that the extended editions were packaged to look like books does not change the reality that a book and a movie are two different things. The nice wrapper does not change the characteristics of the real object. Book illustrators were used because they are talented and have knowledge about the world they were asked to illustrate. The fact that they worked on the books does not alter the reality that they produced work for something different - a movie.

Quote:
Put simply - no-one is more 'guilty' of attempting to tie the movies directly into the books than Jackson himself. If he then finds himself criticised for not being faithful to the books I don't think he's really got grounds for complaint. If he hadn't wanted his movies to be judged by the books he could have done a great deal more to distance the two. Try listening to the commentary tracks & counting how many times Jackson, et al, talk about 'being faithful to the book'.
Advertising and marketting and shiny packaging does not change the reality of the essence of an object or thing. You are too easily confused by the games of Madison Avenue. Jackson did not write a book about LOTR. He made a movie adapting the book. That is distance indeed. That is distance enough because the two are not the same. When Jackson talks about being faithful to the book he does so in the context of making a film that works as a film. That was his goal and his obligation. He made it faithful enough so that it was still LOTR. He changed it enough to make it work as the film LOTR. An please remember that the one who knew the book the best - JRR Tolkien himself, felt that his book was unfilmable as written. To be faithful to be book would have produced something that could not be filmed. That is not my opinion but a reasonable inference from the authors own statements.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:28 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White
You seem to be a stickler for the tiniest iota of detail so allow me to add a few qualifying words to my original statement....
I'm just trying to say on topic instead of being pulled into a discussion that (it appears) you want to have.

Quote:
Over the years we have seen countless discussions of this type where someone has a particular deep interest or love of one specific aspect of the book and is angry or dissapointed that it was altered for the movie. Here it seems to be Elvish. With others its the hair color of Legolas or Boromir. With others its the lack of facial hair on Denethor. Others claim that Theoden is too young and virile. And on it goes without end. To the vast majority of the six hundred ticket buyers of the films, it did not matter if the hair color of Legolas or Boromir was correct or how long ago Denethor had stopped shaving or if a phrase of Elvish was accurate or had been cobbled together from someones imigination. It matered not to them because the film worked. It worked.
The matter under discussion was not in the context of how important or minor it is to a film's success. You appear to be trying to shift it that way. I'm well aware that a phrase being Elvish or Neo-elvish doesn't really matter to the vast majority concerning the film; however the point I raised by quoting Mr. Hostetter is about fidelity to the tone and feel of Tolkien's work.

And this alone is a worthy enough point to be raised to my mind, despite that one could jump into the thread and claim that no Elvish at all was necessarily 'necessary' in the film for it to make tons of money or win some Hollywood award -- and thus make it seem as if the matter is trivial in a certain context (no matter whether it is 'trivial' or not with respect to other considerations worth discussing).

Quote:
Peter Jackson had no obligation to make his film as accurate as possible or as faithful as possible or as bookish as possible. None at all. Because none of those things matter in the final judgment as to the film working as a film.
Again I'm not sure with whom you are having this discussion. Earlier I wrote...

'My priority would be to successfully adapt the spirit of the source material to film, and create a successful film too.' (and) '... but as I have already stated, a measure of constructed Elvish in the film would not bother me.'

I have not argued that with respect to the Elvish Jackson was under some obligation to be as 'accurate as possible' (staying 'on topic' on the languages, off topic as it may actually be, in this thread).

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Old 02-24-2008, 08:04 PM   #95
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Please... please ... no patronizing lectures from on high about my being off topic. The topic here was "or no hobbits at all". And you keep talking about the use of Elvish in the LOTR films. Seems the pot is calling the kettle black.

All I am trying to do is discuss an issue you posted about here. With all due respect to you, I reserve the right to approach it in the way I feel is best. Thank you.

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Old 02-24-2008, 09:06 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White
Please... please ... no patronizing lectures from on high about my being off topic. The topic here was "or no hobbits at all". And you keep talking about the use of Elvish in the LOTR films. Seems the pot is calling the kettle black.
In my last post I admitted the languages were off-topic here.

And earlier when you began (post 83): 'What does it matter to the construction, flow and success of LOTR as a film...' (see above) I responded with: 'That's a different discussion that I have not really entered into here. If you want to start a new thread on it I will be happy to read it and maybe contribute.'

In any case, the issue is not so much topic, but the topic in context.

Quote:
All I am trying to do is discuss an issue you posted about here. With all due respect to you, I reserve the right to approach it in the way I feel is best. Thank you.
Feel free. You don't need to quote something from my posts to form a soapbox for your opinions on 'film success' however.

And intended or not, I feel you are misrepresenting my argument by doing so, as the contexts are different (for example [currently] post 88).

I have no problem with you giving your opinion on accuracy in general but at the end of post 91 it seems implied that my argument concerning 'accuracy' is something it is not; and it only takes a few moments to word a post for better clarity in this regard.

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Old 02-24-2008, 10:26 PM   #97
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In any case, the issue is not so much topic,
really? It seems to be something that you have brought up a couple of times until you were called on it.

Quote:
but the topic in context.
The context here is not as narrow as you want to keep it. As the moderators have explained over and over in many threads, discussion of the work of JRRT and the movies that flow for that work is on topic regardless of the ebb and flow of how a thread evolves.

It does seem really bizarre and highly irregular for you to even mention being off topic when this thread was started to discuss the possibility that there may not be any HOBBIT films at all. You eventually mentioning that reality in no way diminiishes your own deviation from that orginal thread topic.

Lets get back to the thread topic of no more hobbits if we can.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:52 PM   #98
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I think the thread as it stands shows that I meant I wanted to keep the topic in context (for my part anyway).

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The context here is not as narrow as you want to keep it. As the moderators have explained over and over in many threads, discussion of the work of JRRT and the movies that flow for that work is on topic regardless of the ebb and flow of how a thread evolves.
I said feel free to enlarge the context as you like -- just try and do it in a way that does not misrepresent my argument please.

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Lets get back to the thread topic of no more hobbits if we can.
I'm all for that
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:01 PM   #99
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from Galin

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I think the thread as it stands shows that I meant I wanted to keep the topic in context (for my part anyway).
This thread was started to discuss the legal actions taken by the Tolkien Estate and how it may end up finishing off the idea of the 2 possible HOBBIT films.

Your posts have continually discussed the Elvish language in the Jackson films.

How in the world can you now say with a straight face that you meant to keep the topic in context? Elvish language and its use or misuse has nothing to do with the original topic of this thread.

And what is with this "for my part anyway"? It was your part that played a significant role in getting this off the topic that the thread started with. Is that qualfier some sort of public show of washing your hands to show that you are without any responsibility? The first 61 posts in this thread dealt with the topic. Then one person mentioned languages in passing as a tiny part of thread 62.... then you turned it into some major platform and have run with it ever since.

As I have said, the threads flow and evolve the way they do and the mods have said that as long as we discuss Tolkien or the films it is okay. But to first change the topic of the thread and then lecture me that I am not discussing it in the context you want to is completely bizarre.

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Old 02-24-2008, 11:32 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White
This thread was started to discuss the legal actions taken by the Tolkien Estate and how it may end up finishing off the idea of the 2 possible HOBBIT films.

Your posts have continually discussed the Elvish language in the Jackson films.

How in the world can you now say with a straight face that you meant to keep the topic in context? Elvish language and its use or misuse has nothing to do with the original topic of this thread.

And what is with this "for my part anyway"? It was your part that played a significant role in getting this off the topic that the thread started with. Is that qualfier some sort of public show of washing your hands to show that you are without any responsibility?

As I have said, the threads flow and evolve the way they do and the mods have said that as long as we discuss Tolkien or the films it is okay. But to first change the topic of the thread and then lecture me that I am not discussing it in the context you want to is completely bizarre.
I meant the 'topic of the languages' that arose in this thread -- yes obviously a subtopic technically. I could have stated that more clearly; but as I could hardly be claiming to have kept on topic with respect to the original (topic), the meaning seemed clear to me when I posted it. All I meant by 'for my part' is that I did not desire to get dragged into the context of 'Elvish and the film's success'... though as I say others are free to go there, of course.

Back to the 'main topic' I hope.
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:35 PM   #101
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It will be awhile now . . .

In terms of the lawsuit, I think it will be some time before we hear anything more in the public realm about the suit. I imagine that the lawyers on both sides are preparing and reviewing right now.
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:24 AM   #102
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Galin, it seems to me that the sum of your arguments is: In order to be accurate Peter Jackson should have incorporated ONLY the Elvish dialogue seen in the books and nothing else. I consider that an amazingly unfair expectation. NO adaptation of LOTR(BBC, film or the recent stage adaptaion made with the Estate's permission) has ever had the dialogue copy-pasted from the books.

And if you want to argue against the Salo Elvish reconstructions, I would like to point out that the accuracy(or lack of) of these is heavily debated, and I would advice against your passing off Carl Hostetter's opinions as fact when(I hazard a guess here) your own knowledge of Elvish is limited to a dozen or so words.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:27 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by zxcvbn
Galin, it seems to me that the sum of your arguments is: In order to be accurate Peter Jackson should have incorporated ONLY the Elvish dialogue seen in the books and nothing else. I consider that an amazingly unfair expectation. NO adaptation of LOTR(BBC, film or the recent stage adaptaion made with the Estate's permission) has ever had the dialogue copy-pasted from the books.
I have made statements already that I think should show that this is not my argument, though I agree I might not always have been wholly clear in setting apart my preference (concerning the approach to the languages in general), and my actual criticism of Jackson here.

Within my argument I mean Jackson could have incorporated only the Elvish from the books, not that he should have in the sense that he 'needed' to, but only 'should' have in the sense that I would have liked it better (myself) -- that is only 'step one' -- as in, one approach he could have taken, but did not.

OK, I prefer that, but also it is a factor to consider if one is going to paint Jackson as going the extra mile. In that Neo-elvish is not Elvish (Tolkien's own art) no matter how good the grammar is, or is not, and considering that 'unassailable accuracy' is found with Elvish, then jackson really went that extra mile after he decided to skip this approach.

Back to the Estate: originally I said Jackson didn't 'have to' go to the Estate or anyone to represent Tolkien's Elvish; and again he didn't have to go to Salo for fabricated Elvish (who then in turn tries to make that as accurate as he could). He could have hired someone to help with using only the Elvish already available. OK, he didn't, and this is not the problem.

My ultimate preference on the matter should not be confused with what I have criticized Jackson for doing -- missing the feel and tone with respect to the type of language he added and largely tossing Tolkien-made examples aside in one fell swoop.

By type I refer not to grammar or how good a job Salo did with his invented stuff, but to Elvish renderings of dialogue like 'Sit down Legolas' or 'Be quiet...' or similar (whatever they all are exactly, I can't remember now). By type I mean to refer to Mr. Hostetter's distinction when comparing Tolkien's work to Jackson's substitutions: '... please note, are almost entirely in the form of songs, poems, spells, and exclamations made in crisis or _de profundis_ that are used sparingly so as to punctuate the story and to not cheapen the effect of the Elvish -- and instead substituting for them long passages of made-up "Elvish" (however skillfully) constituting (mostly banal) _dialogue_ of the sort entirely _missing_ from Tolkien's own application of Elvish in his story (or anywhere else).'


Quote:
And if you want to argue against the Salo Elvish reconstructions, I would like to point out that the accuracy(or lack of) of these is heavily debated, and I would advice against your passing off Carl Hostetter's opinions as fact when(I hazard a guess here) your own knowledge of Elvish is limited to a dozen or so words.
I don't want to argue against the accuracy of the grammar of Salo's Neo-elvish, and haven't been. Neither has Carl Hostetter in the quote I posted.

And here we are guessing that my own knowledge of Elvish is 'limited to a dozen or so words' incidentally. Can you correctly guess how tall I am? Or my favorite color?

I bet you can't

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Old 02-25-2008, 07:31 AM   #104
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First we saw the accountants and attorneys for Saul Zaentz go up against the accountants and attorneys of New Line Cinema. Then Peter Jackson assembled his own legion of numbers crunchers and did the same. Even the lower tier bit actors like Rosie Cotton got into the act and hired legal atalent to get their share of merchandising monies. Now its the Tolkien Estate with their own company of lawyers and forensic accountants.

The Battle of the Five Armies takes on an entirely new meaning.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:25 AM   #105
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Three questions for our legal minded Downers...

1.- if this suit was filed in California why would New York law apply?

2. - Would the previous filings of Wingnut Films and Peter Jackson be available to the Estate and would Peter Jackson be a good possible witness to assist them?

3- This was posted on another site - halloffire.net - by an attorney. Is there any truth to this and could you explain what you think it means?

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If the Estate REALLY wanted to play hardball, they could move in 2012 (1937 + 75 years) for copyright reclamation, voiding every single license or copyright assignment in TH JRRT ever made in his lifetime. The same could apply to the LR in 2010-11 (1954-55 + 56 years).
Thank you for the pro bono work.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:58 PM   #106
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1.- if this suit was filed in California why would New York law apply?
New York law applies because all parties to the original 1969 contracts agreed that it would. This is legally valid and indeed almost standard in commercial contracts (read the fine print in a product warranty if you don't believe me). The case was filed in California because New Line is located there and therefore California has in personam jurisdiction. It's not all that unusual a situation.

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2. - Would the previous filings of Wingnut Films and Peter Jackson be available to the Estate and would Peter Jackson be a good possible witness to assist them?
The actual filings- documents filed with the court- are matters of public record and open to anyone. Of course since PJ eventually settled a lot of stuff was never filed or submitted as evidence. Whether PJ would be a good witness is a judgment call for the lawyers. However, it's certainly possible that PJ's version of production costs might be rather different from what New Line is claiming!

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3- This was posted on another site - halloffire.net - by an attorney. Is there any truth to this and could you explain what you think it means

I posted it, and was referring to the doctrine of Copyright Reclamation, a part of US law. The purpose behind it is to allow the heirs of an author or artist a chance to 'reclaim' the copyright as against any really crappy deal he might have made in his lifetime: the classic case is that of Superman's creators who sold the character to DC Comics for peanuts. Basically the way it works is that whenever a copyright by a *deceased* author comes up for its third or fourth renewal (at 56 or 75 years after publication) the author's heirs can apply to reclaim the copyright and void any assignments or licences the author may have granted in his lifetime.


I have absolutely no reason to think, incidentally, that the Tolkien Estate is remotely contemplating anything of the sort. I brought it up rather as the sort of the thing this mythical Mean Old Take-Our-Movies-Away Estate might indulge in., if it really wanted to be nasty.


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Old 02-26-2008, 08:06 AM   #107
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Thank you William for those answers. Interesting to see that it was you in another form who posted that other information. Small world.

So now what happens? Is there anything that prevents NL from going ahead on this film right now while the legal dispute plods on for months or even years? Would the Estate have to ask for an injunction to stop the films from being produced.... or once done, distributed to theaters?

One of the things that I was looking forward to in the Jackson suit was a final resolution to this and a end to Hollywood accounting methods. I wanted to see all the dirty laundry aired in public, all the in-house merchandising deals revealed, and all the accounting gimmicks exposed. It seemed that Jackson and his legal team wanted that also. In the end they settled for the same thing that everyone else settles for - money and the prospect for even more money in the future.

I wonder will the Estate do the same or will they force the issue takin this all the way to a jury?
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:20 PM   #108
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Injunction Unlikely

Much has been written above about the Plaintiffs seeking to stop any new movie. The odds of this happening through successful litigation are unlikely in any common law court. I have not read which court this suit is in, but essentially all US states and the federal system have a very strong public policy of NOT using equitable orders when the plaintiff can be made whole by contract damages.

The law is divided into multiple areas. For instance, Torts are civil wrongs, such as assault, trespass, slander, etc.., while Contracts are oral or written agreements. Historically, the courts were divided into the law courts and the courts of equity. With limited exceptions, the law courts did not issue orders except for the payment of money, while the equity courts primarily issued orders, generally known as injunctions. In modern practice, these two courts are merged, but the echo of these differences remains.

Essentially all common law jurisdictions (i.e. governments that mainly derive their law from the built up case law of England) follow a rule that says, "when a contract calls for a monetary payment, the relief granted to a plaintiff pleading breach of contract is limited to ascertaining the amount of monetary damages and making an award thereof." In other words, where the plaintiff can be made whole by awarding damages, he/she is not entitled to other relief such as injunctions. This rule is strong, but not absolute. Where fraud (a tort) is properly pled, it can augment the remedies, perhaps leading to injunctions to prohibit further fraud.

However, it appears from the press reports, and what is posted above, that the Tolkien Trust et al. are seeking "rescission" based upon allegations of fraud. This is a very difficult thing, as rescission is used primarily as a remedy for "fraud in the inducement" to enter into the contract - and nothing here would indicate that there is any fraud (if there is) except with regard to New Line's accounting practices (note that I am NOT saying that such allegations are true).

Thus, it is very likely that there is no legal basis for the Tolkien Trust's petition for an order barring further productions. All that is likely is an order that sets forth what the contract means, gives damages for its past breach (if that is found), and perhaps sets forth how it will be interpreted for the future as it applies to the Hobbit.

I'm just a country lawyer, but all this is pretty elementary law...
Then again, Ecclesiastes is right when it says, "One sounds right until another answers." We really have too little information so far, and I cannot wait to hear New Line's response.
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:27 PM   #109
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Derrivative Work

I am fascinated by some press reports that indicate that NL is planning 2 "Hobbit" movies, one being the story of the Hobbit, and one being the period between the end of the Hobbit and the beginning of LotR.

I expect that this issue will be fiercely litigated by the Tolkien Trust and heirs. I very much hope that we will get to see the rights contract soon (i.e. the one that JRRT signed in '66), as I cannot imagine that he, so jealous of his great creation, would have knowingly transferred creative rights for new story content!

Then again, some published reports long ago indicated that he signed the contract while desperate for $ to pay taxes, and he may not have had adequate legal advice on the implications as well.

Anyone know more on this?
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:31 PM   #110
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Mandos: at least as alleged in the Complaint, the original 1969 agreements by their own terms provide for recission in the event of material breach.

As for New Line proceeding while this suit is in litigation: how will they get financing? Investors won't touch this with a ten-foot pole until the matter is resolved.
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:40 PM   #111
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I know that the wheels of the English legal system seldom turn swiftly and don't get the impression that the US version moves with more alacrity, but is this likely to take months or years to come to court? Could it turn in to a Jarndyce v Jarndyce?
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:21 PM   #112
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Thanks to both WCH and Mandos for their legal expertise. I truly appreciate the clarity of the posting by Mandos regarding injunctions.

I found this from WCH interesting

Quote:
As for New Line proceeding while this suit is in litigation: how will they get financing? Investors won't touch this with a ten-foot pole until the matter is resolved.
Is this something you know as fact based on news or inside reports or is this just your conclusion based on how you see things? Because I have read several legal people say that while the Estate has a strong case in winning damages, their claim to stop the upcoming productions is weaker in comparison. Given the track record of LOTR in terms of revenues, if there is one film that investors would be lining up to get in on it would be another Jackson Middle-earth film. Of course, that excludes the accounting methods of NL to pay off the investors. If protections could be provided and accounting methods transparent, I would think there would be a rush of investors to fund these films.

If Warner takes over operations of NL I would think they would have little difficulty in financing a $150 million dollar film with the possibility of $1 billion in ticket sales let alone ancillary revenue.

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Old 02-26-2008, 02:41 PM   #113
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from Mandos

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I expect that this issue will be fiercely litigated by the Tolkien Trust and heirs. I very much hope that we will get to see the rights contract soon (i.e. the one that JRRT signed in '66), as I cannot imagine that he, so jealous of his great creation, would have knowingly transferred creative rights for new story content!
This is speculative of course.... but ... most reports indicate that the second movie could be built around the attack on Saurons fortress in Mirkwood and the efforts of the White Council to displace him. That is a very real thing that JRRT wrote about and something to which the rights were assigned in 1969. Other events were also written about by JRRT although not in a detailed fashion.

question: can the Estate object to anyone using these events and characters that were clearly written about by JRRT and then the producers filling in the spaces and connecting the dots with dialogue of their own? Is that the same as "new story content"?

And is that what this is about aside from the money? The goal of stopping of that second film from even being made. Because that is what some have been saying ever since the suit was announced but have been met with denials and words of calming caution by defenders of the Estate.
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:30 PM   #114
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Well, the rumored absorption of New Line by Warner Brothers finally happened. It will be interesting to see how this affects not only The Hobbit and the litigation with the Estate, but also Pullman's HDM franchise. Compass looks like it's going to be big in Japan.
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:40 PM   #115
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Thanks for that bit of good news Mister Underhill. Now they need to
1- fire Shaye and his cohorts
2- sit down with the Estates legal team and work a settlement
3- adopt honest accounting methods so nothing like this happens again to anyone they deal with

And all that should happen by tomorrow.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:13 PM   #116
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Shaye is gone.

Quote:
"February 28, 2008

To: New Line Colleagues

From: Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne

Subject: Our Company

This afternoon, Time Warner is announcing that New Line will become a unit of Warner Bros. This is, of course, a very difficult and emotional time for all of us who have worked at New Line. While there is not much we can say that can lessen the impact of this announcement, we did want you to know about the decision before you read about it in the press.

New Line will maintain its own identity and will continue to produce, market, and distribute movies. But New Line will now do so as part of Warner Bros. and will probably be a much smaller operation than in the past. Time Warner hopes that operating New Line as a unit of Warner Bros. will allow New Line to focus on the creative side of movie-making, while reducing costs and taking advantage of Warner Bros.' distribution systems. The company will be holding group meeting with New Line employees tomorrow in Los Angeles and New York to discuss this announcement, and is committed to letting employees know as soon as possible about how this change affects them individually.

For our part, we will be stepping down as Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOS of New Line. This was a painful decision, because we love New Line and the people who work here have been like our second families. But we will be leaving the company with enormous pride in what all of us at New Line have accomplished together. From its humble beginnings 40 years ago, our studio has created some of the most popular and successful movies of all time. Those movies are a tribute to the amazing creative energy and entrepreneurial abilities of the talented people at New Line. They are a legacy that will endure forever.

Although we are stepping out of New Line, we intend to remain actively involved in the industry in an entrepreneurial capacity, and will keep you advised of developments.

We thank all of you who have worked so hard to make New Line such a success. We are very proud of every one of you.

Bob & Michael"
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:22 PM   #117
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The Golden Compass film was a disappointment, but I would still like them to go ahead with the sequels. Given the profits generated by Compass overseas, perhaps it would be profitable to make the second and third movies if Warner adopts a new scheme for handling foreign revenues from their movies, which now appears likely.

How great if this whole dispute would suddenly be settled fairly out of court now that new parties are involved. But I doubt the likelihood of that when so much money is involved.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:34 PM   #118
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from VARIETY the show business newspaper reporting on the various implications of the NL folding and Shaye departure.

Variety’s article :
Quote:
‘Warner Bros. gobbles up New Line’: “The Hobbit” has Guillermo Del Toro in talks to direct, and the picture will be unaffected by the ouster of Shaye and Lynne. Though the films won’t be scripted until a director is hired, and Jackson wraps “The Lovely Bones,” the expectation is that the films will be ready for release for Christmas 2011 and 2012. Harry Potter will have wound down at WB by then, and the corporation will surely welcome another fantasy franchise that has an eager global audience waiting. New Line will distribute domestically, while MGM has international rights.
The official HOBBIT movie site and discussion board has been carrying the official announcement since back in December stating that the two films would be released in 2010 and 2011. This article seems to postpone that by a full year although no months were given in either release cycle. You would have to suspect they would want to keep to the December releases since they had proven success with that.

Would this extra year be to a) work out a deal with the Estate before proceeding any further, or/ and b) get Jackson on board in a larger capacity even if it he will not direct - at least the first pic?
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:09 PM   #119
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or perhaps it's back on the menu . . . .

Well, some more great info/speculation from The Frodo Franchise site. First comes this from Fred Schrurers blog found at http://www.portfolio.com/views/blogs...ne-at-new-line

The article is called The Perfect Storm that sank Shaye and Lynne. He makes some excellent points I think.

Most fans will find this quote interesting:

"In the last category, Shaye and Lynne's long unwillingness to cede control to the company that linked with them in 1996 by acquiring the studio's then-parent Turner Broadcasting System, mixed with such untoward events as another perfect storm around the company's one huge success, Lord of the Rings (New Line was sued by director-producer Peter Jackson, original option holder Saul Zaentz, and more recently, the Tolkien estate).

That perfect record of being called chiselers on their biggest hit (the first two disputes were settled out of court) dovetails with Warner Bros.'s need to take the Hobbit project in hand--now that Jackson has agreed to produce it--and free it from potential legal entanglement by the Tolkien trust."

Kristin Thompson states on her blog "That reference to freeing the Hobbit project “from potential legal entanglement by the Tolkien trust” may hint that Warners or New Line will settle out of court in the not-too-distant future–which would be a logical move, given the value of the franchise." See the rest of her quote over at her blog.

Here's the link to The Frodo Franchise for Kristin's take:

http://www.kristinthompson.net/blog/

I sure like the sound that Warner Bros. "needs to take the Hobbit project in hand -- now that Jackson has agreed to produce it -- and FREE IT from the potential legal entanglement by the Tolkien trust."

Sure sounds like a settlement is coming!
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:45 AM   #120
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Given the time that has passed since the Estate filing, does anyone know if there was a legal answer from NL/Warners? Is there any news on this front?
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