We all know Peter Jackson’s film trilogies, The Lord of the Rings (2001-3) and The Hobbit (2012-14), but there are some lesser-known media based on Tolkien’s work that are also gaining attention in recent times, while more are to come, and we can probably expect even more to come. ‘to come up. This could raise the question of who owns the rights to The Lord of the Rings franchise.
Many books, fantastic or otherwise, receive only one adaptation, and no one thinks much about copyright. But when it comes to very famous works, things get complicated, especially when the author is not alive, but the works have not yet fallen into the public domain.
It all seemed pretty simple when The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were being adapted, but Amazon the Lord of the Rings and the recent announcement of a The Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim anime reinviting the question of copyright – especially since it is more or less known that The Silmarillion and Unfinished tales, for example, cannot be adapted.
The Tolkien Estate – the legal body that manages the property of JRR Tolkien – retains the rights to any work by the author that has been collected, edited and published posthumously by his son, Christopher Tolkien, and unless they choose to sell said rights, it is not going to be a Silmarillion movies or TV show soon.
On the other hand, the exclusive rights of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings franchises are owned by Middle-Earth Enterprises, the trading name of a division of Saul Zaentz Company. This is because JRR Tolkien himself sold films and other rights to these books to United Artists, who in turn sold them to Saul Zeantz.
From there, things get a bit complicated, if we want to understand who has the right to produce what from Tolkien’s work. What we need to know for the purposes of this article is that New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. hold the cinematographic rights of The Lord of the Rings franchise, that’s why the Rohirrim War the anime can continue. If it wasn’t based on an appendix found in The Lord of the Rings delivered, that would have been another story.
Related: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Extended & Cinema) 4K Ultra HD & Digital Drops to Lowest Price on Record