New Line Sued by Tolkien Trust

The charitable trust of Lord of the Rings creator J.R.R. Tolkien sued New Line Cinema on Jan. 11 for allegedly cheating it out of at least $150 million from the blockbuster movie trilogy based on the late British author's fantasy sagas, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The London-based Tolkien Trust said in its complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, that under a 1969 contract with the studio that held the original rights to the work, the trust and other plaintiffs were entitled to 7.5 percent of gross receipts, "less certain expenses," from the films and related products. According to the suit, worldwide grosses from the trilogy have reached nearly $6 billion.

New Line did not comment to the newspaper.

While in December Peter Jackson settled his own lawsuit against New Line, clearing the way for him to co-executive-produce films based on The Hobbit. The Tolkien trust seeks to terminate New Line's rights, which would bring The Hobbit to a halt.

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