“I just didn’t think special effects were up to it, I just didn’t imagine anybody would have the scope of imagination to take it on and make a good job of it. I’d seen so many attempts to buy the rights fall through for various complicated financial reasons and didn’t expect it to happen.” Johnson had become Tolkien’s publisher in the mid 1980s and had overseen a revamp of the look of the venerable fantasy classic. The overhaul included commissioning watercolour artists John Howe and Alan Lee to create new cover pictures for the books.
A letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to illustrator Doris Sykes will be sold by Hermitage Fine Art Monaco for £15,000 ($25,0000).