Let’s see… Houghton Mifflin acquires the rights to books based on the movies based on the books they already sell… Seems almost a little backwards, doesn’t it?
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN ACQUIRES U.S. BOOK RIGHTS TO NEW LINE CINEMA’S “THE LORD OF THE RINGS” MOVIE TRILOGY
Boston, January 16, 2001 — Houghton Mifflin Company, longtime publisher of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, has secured the U.S. rights to publish books related to the release of “J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings” — a three-part film adaptation of his masterwork in production from New Line Cinema.
The epic adventure trilogy being filmed under the direction of Peter Jackson (Heavenly Creatures, The Frighteners), is based on the best-selling novel first published in this country by Houghton Mifflin in 1954. It stars Elijah Wood, Sir Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Christopher Lee, and Cate Blanchett and is set against the stunning landscape of New Zealand as Tolkien’s imaginary Middle-earth.
“As proud stewards of the works of this great writer for more than 60 years, Houghton Mifflin believes that New Line’s creative and talented team will effectively introduce J.R.R. Tolkien’s great tale to a very broad film-going audience,” says Wendy J. Strothman, Executive Vice President of Houghton’s Trade and Reference division. Adds Clay Harper, Tolkien Projects Director for Houghton, “With worldwide sales of more than 100 million copies in over 40 languages since 1954, this is a story that has touched the hearts and souls of an enormous audience already. With the grand scale of epic history, it is a brilliant tale of harrowing adventure in a fantastic land. But in the end, it is the story of a very few brave individuals persevering against overwhelming odds through courage, conviction, and the power of friendship. We have no doubts that Peter Jackson’s films will introduce millions more to Tolkien’s extraordinary world.”
“‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a classic tale that has enthralled kids and adults for close to half a century,” comments David Imhoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Licensing and Merchandising, New Line Cinema. “The trilogy is one of the most immense projects in the history of film. It’s only fitting that we partner with Houghton Mifflin, original publishers of this fine work, to capture the artistry, both in front and behind the camera, of these groundbreaking films.
The multi-book deal includes at least six titles with two releasing each year in conjunction with the film releases: in December 2001 with “The Fellowship of the Ring,” in December 2002 with “The Two Towers” and December 2003 with “Return of the King.” The books will include “A Visual Companion to the Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Art of The Lord of the Rings,” featuring the work of noted Tolkien illustrator and conceptual designer for the films, Alan Lee, among others. Houghton Mifflin’s acquisition includes subsequent books based on the film trilogy to be developed in cooperation with HarperCollins UK, publishers of Tolkien outside the United States and with New Line Cinema.
Houghton Mifflin Company, an independent publisher founded in 1832, has over its 169 year history built a reputation for publishing some of America’s finest writers. The Trade & Reference Division publishes books in three categories: adult, juvenile and reference. Its adult titles encompass literary fiction and a broad spectrum of nonfiction, as well as its highly acclaimed trade paperback line, Mariner Books. Its reference titles include the American Heritage Dictionary(R), the Peterson Field guides, and other nature, gardening, and travel guides. Houghton Mifflin’s children’s titles include numerous Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners and constitute one of the richest backlists of children’s literature in the industry. The Trade & Reference Division’s web site can be found at www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com.
Founded in 1967, New Line Cinema is the entertainment industry’s leading independent producer and distributor of theatrical motion pictures. New Line licenses its films to ancillary markets including cable and broadcast television as well as to international venues. The company, which is a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., operates several divisions including in-house theatrical distribution, marketing, home video, television, acquisitions, production, licensing and merchandising units. For more information on New Line and its subsidiaries, visit www.newline.com.