The biopic dedicated to the creator of the Lord of the rings the wrath of the family of the author. In a press release, the successors of J. R. R. Tolkien have made “knowing that they don’t approve of, did not authorize and were not involved” in the making of this film and that they “do the validaient neither it nor its contents in any way”. A spokesman for the Tolkien Estate has also declared that the family has not yet seen the biopic directed by finland’s Dome Karukoski ( Tom of Finland ) and that this declaration does not target any scene or a specific element of the story.
played by Nicholas Hoult on screen ( Favorite , Mad Max: Fury Road ), John Ronald Reuel Tolkien has left behind him a complex that still today is full of secrets. The film was co-written by David Gleeson ( The Front Line ) and Stephen Beresford ( Pride ), tells the story of how the memories of youth of the british author, from his studies at Oxford to the trenches of the First world War, nourished his literary work.
Asked by The Guardian , John Garth, the biographer of Tolkien, and a specialist of his work, deemed it “reasonable,” the reaction of the successors of the british writer. “ The approval of the family Tolkien would give credibility to all the differences and distortions”, he declared in holding that “it would hurt the history” of supporting a film of factual errors. “As a biographer, I expect to fix new misconceptions arising from the film. I hope that all those who love film and are interested in the formative years of Tolkien will have a biography reliable.”
Approached at the time of the writing of the biopic, the family of J. R. R. Tolkien has never given its consent for its creation, according to the spokeswoman interviewed by Hollywood Reporter . He also added that their statement helps to clarify their position, but does not prejudice future legal action. At least for the moment. Because to protect the name and the great works of the author, while asserting their rights as successors, the family has filed multiple lawsuits, especially since the release of the Lord of the rings directed by Peter Jackson between 2001 and 2003.
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In 2009, the heirs of the writer and the editor of novelist Harper Collins have jointly filed a lawsuit against New Line Cinema. The complainants have accused the producer of the trilogy ( the fellowship of The ring, The Two Towers and the Return of The king ) of not having paid “a single penny” of the profits generated by the films, amounting to nearly three billion dollars. Claiming more than 170 million dollars, the family has found an amicable agreement with the production company, but the terms of the contract have not been released to the public.
In 2011, the family filed a lawsuit against Stephen Hillard, author of the novel Mirkwood: A Novel about JRR Tolkien . She accused him of “to popularize the name, personality and reputation” of the creator of Middle-Earth, using it as a main character.
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A week before the world premiere of Hobbit: an unexpected journey (2012), a long battle of five years begins between the successors and Warner Bros for alleged violations of copyrights on products derived from the Hobbit and the Lord of The rings. Interviewed by The World , Christopher Tolkien, son of the writer denounced “the commercialization has reduced to nil the impact of aesthetic and philosophical creation” of his father. The plaintiffs claimed $ 80 million. Once again, a secret agreement has been found.
the outcome of this case, Peter Jackson said that it was unlikely that the new films are facing because of the law that impose constantly the successors of Tolkien. He was wrong. In 2017, Amazon in competition with Netflix and HBO, has obtained a $ 250-million for the rights to adapt in a new television series, the saga of Tolkien.
The film director Dome Karukoski is therefore prevented. By launching his project of a biopic without the agreement of the family Tolkien, as stated by their spokesman, he has taken the risk of drawing their wrath. His lawyers must be ready for the day of release.