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Estate Litigation Between Tolkien and Warner Bros Finally Settled

July 20, 2017

Fans of the Lord of the Rings movies may have reason to rejoice in the days ahead. The estate litigation between the Tolkien family and Warner Bros. studio has finally been settled. Movie goers in New York and elsewhere may now have a future feature film to look forward to in the months ahead.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 when the estate accused the studio of exploiting the rights to characters created by the author without express permission. The studio reportedly used likenesses of the movie characters in video games, online gaming and digital merchandising. In response to those allegations, the studio filed a counter-suit, alleging that it lost revenue due to the restrictions placed in its licensing agreements as a result of the original lawsuit.

The two sides recently announced that they have settled their dispute amicably. Warner Bros. stated that it and the estate may now work together in the future, which has led to speculation that a new movie project may be in the planning stages. The estate for Tolkien has not made any public announcements regarding any future projects.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy series did well at the box office as well as garnering Oscars. The later Hobbit movies did not do as well but were well received by movie fans. It is unknown which of the late author’s writings could be the subject for any upcoming films nor what the terms of the settlement included. In spite of protections that are written into trusts and estate plans, there are disputes that can wind up mired in litigation. New York residents may choose to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney who can help assure that one’s final wishes are protected from these types of estate litigation.

Source:, “Warner Bros.: does Tolkien estate settling $80m lawsuit mean new movie’s coming?“, RL Cruze, July 6, 2017