Did the Tolkien estate sell the movie rights to Hollywood, or could they still allow somebody else to make an actual LOTR/Hobbit movie series?

That is, one which actually follows the books' story instead of butchering them completely and inventing all kinds of nonsense?

After recently re-reading them, then watching the existing movies, I felt a deep sadness not just because of the miserable viewing experience, but the thought that the big masses of people have no idea what LOTR/Hobbit are actually about, as they have only seen those ridiculous movies.

I also disagree violently with those who defend the LOTR movies but are negative toward the Hobbit ones. I find both to be equally nonsensical and completely detached from the source material.

Almost every scene in those existing movies bore me out of my mind, and it's not because they are "slow". They certainly aren't. They are just an endless series of ridiculous stunts, shaky cameras and physics-defying nonsense, and even the calm scenes manage to be completely uninteresting due to how dumbed down the story and dialogue is.

I want to see real LOTR/Hobbit movies in my lifetime. Could it be done legally?

  • 1
    @C.Koca I think it’s preferable not to have a massive rant that only detracts from the question. Some authorial intent is fine but long rambling paragraphs of rant that only detract, and likely draw downvoted, no, preferable to leave that out.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Nov 20, 2020 at 23:12
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    @C.Koca - As things stand it's just a rant. If OP doesn't remove it themselves, it'll get closed anyway.
    – Valorum
    Nov 20, 2020 at 23:12
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    @C.Koca of course it’s not entirely up to us but the whole point of SE is that it’s not entirely up to the OP either. Beat to make a readable and answerable question than a rant that’ll only end up closed.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Nov 20, 2020 at 23:14
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    @F1Krazy Of course they won't if we are this hostile to newcomers, in spite of the "new contributor" warning.
    – user65648
    Nov 20, 2020 at 23:16
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    @C.Koca I was about to edit my comment. I didn't mean that they'd see this discussion and be scared off by it, although that is a possibility. But what I think is much more likely (and what I meant originally) is that they've posted this, then immediately disappeared, and they have no idea that this debate is even occurring.
    – F1Krazy
    Nov 20, 2020 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


Generally, when someone buys the "movie rights" to a work, it's an exclusive deal, though often limited to a set period of time.

So, to do something like this, one would need the cooperation of whoever currently owns those rights. If they are currently still in the hands of Jackson et al, then there's probably no path forward (at least for now). If/when the rights revert back to the estate, then the heirs will want to make a profit and they may or may not care about "artistic integrity" or anything else that gets in the way of making the profit. They also will want to deal with someone who can show that they have the resources to actually complete the project and generate that profit.

TLDR - sure, anything's possible if you're willing to spend enough money. In this case, you're probably talking hundreds of millions of dollars.

I think it's also relevant to bring up "a tale of two movies", namely The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged (Part 1). Same author, two very different results.

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    given the estate has sold some rights to Amazon, who has since hired nudity consultants for their upcoming show (true story)...artistic integrity and adhering to the spirit of Tolkien seem to be now entirely off the table
    – NKCampbell
    Nov 20, 2020 at 23:37
  • I now have a new career goal. Nov 20, 2020 at 23:46
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    "No no no I keep telling you pointy ears pointy nipples"
    – Revenant
    Nov 21, 2020 at 1:25
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    @NKCampbell they sold off different rights to Amazon.
    – Edlothiad
    Nov 21, 2020 at 7:58

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