Let’s start things off by recapping the most recent news from the world of Tolkien.
No punitive damages in LOTR suit
A judge has barred Tolkien’s heirs from seeking punitive damages in their £80 million lawsuit against New Line Pictures. This makes no sense to me. Hollywood studios love to promise money, and then refuse to pay until they’re sued. It’s a despicable practice, and the cheated party should see punitive damages. The LOTR films made six billion-with-a-“b” dollars! I think they can spare Tolkien’s heirs their $150,000,000.
Foreclosing on The Shire
A hobbit-themed housing development in Bend, Oregon is failing due to the collapsing real estate market. The 31-lot development, which broke ground in 2006, is now $3.4 million in the hole. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell — well, you know. Greg Steckler, a designer of the project, is the lone owner of a Shire home, where he lives with his wife and mother-in-law. He calls himself the resident hobbit. Well, at least Hobbiton USA is still in business.
The Hobbit film officially on for 2010
Despite threats from the Tolkien Trust, New Line officially announced The Hobbit for a tenative 2010 completion date. Guillermo del Toro will direct, which means Gandalf will have eyes on his hands. A second film, somehow acting as a bridge between The Hobbit and Fellowship, will also be filmed. I’ll rant about that in another post.