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The Lord of the Rings film and games rights up for sale


The rights to create films and games based on The Lord of the Rings are going up for auction.

As reported by Variety, the Saul Zaentz Co is selling its Tolkien rights, which includes films, games, TV shows over eight episodes, live events, merchandise, and theme parks based on The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and other Tolkien properties.

The rights are set to fetch upwards of $2bn.

The Saul Zaentz Co was set up by producer Saul Zaentz who died back in 2017. He was responsible for Oscar-winning films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus and The English Patient.

The timing of the sale is no coincidence, with Amazon's Rings of Power TV adaptation due out on 2nd September this year. Could Amazon Games be eyeing up the rights for a game based on its TV series?

The Lord of the Rings rights are a bit of a minefield, with Warner Bros maintaining some film development rights through its ownership of New Line Cinema - the production company behind Peter Jackson's celebrated films.

For now, there's The Lord of the Rings: Gollum in the works from Daedalic Entertainment. The game is a partnership between the German studio and Middle-earth Enterprises who own the literary rights to Tolkien's work.

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Ed Nightingale

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Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.


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