Yes, it was unlikely to be a major problem, but New Line has finally settled a long-running legal dispute with the Tolkien Trust and publishers HarperCollins over profit issues.
The aggrieved Tolkiens and HarperCollins filed suit back in February 2008 alleging that New Line - in a shocking move that was unexpected to exactly no one who knows anything about Hollywood accounting - had failed to pay them at least $220 million in profits from the movie rights.
Under a deal sealed in 1969 - way back before even the animated movie was released - the two parties agreed a 7.5% gross receipts deal from any film, which, thanks to LOTR's three-billion-dollar-plus success, added up to a hefty bill.
"The trustees regret that legal action was necessary, but are glad that this dispute has been settled on satisfactory terms that will allow the Tolkien Trust properly to pursue its charitable objectives," Tolkien's son Christopher Tolkien said in a statement. "The trustees acknowledge that New Line may now proceed with its proposed films of 'The Hobbit."
Just wait until everyone starts to disagree over the profits from that cash cow…
Glad to see The Hobbit's way cleared? Or did you figure New Line would push ahead anyway?