Warner Bros and JRR Tolkien estate settle US$80 million Lord of the Rings lawsuit

  • 04/07/2017
Lord of the Rings cast
The five-year-long court case has been settled. Photo credit: Warner Bros.

After a drawn out court battle, Warner Bros and the estate of author JRR Tolkien have settled an US$80 million rights dispute over The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings.

"The parties are pleased that they have amicably resolved this matter and look forward to working together in the future," Warner Bros says in a statement. 

The suit, which led to a five-year court battle, was filed in 2012 over the digital exploitation of the fantastical characters in Tolkien's best-selling books, like hobbits and wizards, in online slot machines and games, Variety reports.

The Tolkien estate and publisher HarperCollins alleged that the studio never had rights to license characters for these purposes.

Warner Bros countersued, claiming that the estate cost it "millions of dollars in license fees" from merchandising when it filed a legal challenge.

There are now more Lord of the Rings projects in the pipeline to add to Sir Peter Jackson's trilogy that made over US$3 billion at the global box office.