Hobbit Theme Park May Become Reality... Or Not

Hobbit Theme Park May Become Reality... Or Not


The rights to a Middle Earth amusement park have been acquired, but will we ever see it?

Rumors of an amusement park modeled after Middle Earth date back many years, but a new trademark discovery could be the first glimpse we have at the rumor becoming reality. But before you get too excited, a brief look at the new owner of the trademark suggests we may never actually get to stroll through The Shire. According to a trademark registration obtained by fan site Tolkien Brasil, the rights to a Middle Earth theme park have been acquired by The Saul Zaentz Company.

For those unfamiliar, Saul Zaentz is the man who owns the rights to film and marketing adaptations of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and produced an animated version of The Lord of the Rings in 1978. New Line Cinema contracted the rights to the franchise from him for the new, live action releases. Zaentz was involved in legal action against New Line for revenue generated by the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and has sued other companies in the past for unlicensed use of the Hobbit brand.

In fact, the Tolkien estate is currently involved in a lawsuit against Zaentz, claiming that he has overstepped the bounds of what was originally laid out in the original 1969 agreement, and that his current position as rights holder is actively tarnishing Tolkien's legacy.

That leaves us with two possible ways this could play out:

1. Zaentz is securing the rights to a theme park adaptation of Middle Earth in order to create a massive, exciting, and downright awesome theme park that will make us feel like adventurers in our favorite fantasy world. Or...

2. Zaentz is looking out for his own best interests as he fights to lock down as much of the franchise as possible, in the hopes of some day leveraging the mark in court for monetary gain.

Personally, I'm not holding my breath that I'll be visiting Middle Earth any time soon. How about you?


Are we completely sure this guy doesn't work for Apple?

They already have a Middle Earth theme park here in the UK, its called Cornwall.

They already have a Middle Earth theme park here in the UK, its called Cornwall.

And they have one in the Southern Hemisphere too, it's called most of New Zealand.

But yeah, this guy seems to be a bit too high up on the Asshole-O-Meter for me to hold out much hope.

I'd rather live in a hobbit hole. I personally hate theme parks so I'm the wrong person to judge but for crying out loud when's someone gonna get to work on making me a village full of hobbit holes!

You know, if Zaentz was willing to take a chance with the guy who made Dead Alive, I'm willing to take a chance on Zaentz. Sure he wants money but it's not like he's tried to stop LOTR or the Hobbit from being made or distributed (has he?). And judging from the amount of merchandise this franchise has already generated, I doubt he'd be stupid enough to sit on a money printer like this.

Wasn't he the man who threatened the little Birmingham sandwich bar 'The Hungry Hobbit' with legal action if it didn't change its name? What a bullying prick.

He looks old. What will happen after he has died and the celebrations in Birmingham have died down?

Further proof that the copyright on works of fiction lasts way too long. How long has Tolkien been dead? What have any of these people done to deserve sole ownership of his franchise? It really is time to massively overhaul our patent and copyright laws.

this guy doesn't sound like the kind of person who has any creative drive at all, hes little more than an investor, he's not in any of this for the sake of the fans, or because he even loves tolkein's work, but because he loves the money he's making off of it, and doesn't understand the fans of the work at all or the following books like the hobbit have created, the tolkein estate is right to want to take action against him, J.R.R. Tolkein would probably appreciate his legacy being in the hands of people who actually care for it, not those who only like the money.


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