What is with Hollywood?

The movie industry has got to be one of the most shady businesses this side of drug trafficking and sex slavery. What on Earth can New Line be thinking, first trying to stiff Peter Jackson and now refusing to pay the Tolkein estate?

The estate of “Lord of the Rings” creator J.R.R. Tolkien is suing the film studio that released the trilogy based on his books, claiming the company failed to pay a cut of gross profits for the blockbuster films. The writer’s estate, a British charity dubbed The Tolkien Trust, and original “Lord of the Rings” publisher HarperCollins filed the lawsuit against New Line Cinema on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court….

“The Tolkien trustees do not file lawsuits lightly, and have tried unsuccessfully to resolve their claims out of court,” Steven Maier, an attorney for the Tolkien estate based in Britain, said in a statement. “New Line has not paid the plaintiffs even one penny of its contractual share of gross receipts despite the billions of dollars of gross revenue generated by these wildly successful motion pictures.”

Maier also claims the film studio has blocked the Tolkien estate and the other plaintiffs from auditing the receipts of the last two films.

Yeah, that’s the way to treat the very architects of your greatest success. How incredibly insane! I’ve been contacted five or six times to have one or another of my properties optioned for film, and New Line’s latest debacle is only one of the many reasons that I don’t even bother responding. Even if the project achieves the rare success, most of the benefit isn’t yours anyhow. Film is an expensive, outdated, and moribund industry anyhow so I’d much rather give a machinema company permission to do something with my stuff than waste any mental bandwidth on the freakshow that is Hollywood.

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