The rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have been sold to the video game company, Embracer Group.
The rights to The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit books are incredibly complicated and somewhat difficult to track. In 1960s, the books technically fell into the public domain due to manufacturing/copyright laws in the United States. The international film, gaming, and merchandising rights, however, were eventually picked up by film producer Saul Zaentz through his company Saul Zaentz Co. under the decision known as Middle Earth Enterprises. Deals were eventually struck with New Line Cinema, Miramax, and eventually, Warner Bros which allowed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies to be made. Now the company’s time holding the rights is coming to an end.
Earlier this year Saul Zaenty Co announced that it was interested in selling off Middle Earth Enterprises. Given Amazon’s interest in The Lord of the Rings, it was expected that the company would pick up the rights. Instead, film, merchandise, theme park, and gaming rights to the franchise have gone to a company known as Embracer Group.
Embracer Group is a Swedish-based company that is primarily known for video game publishing. However, the company has been dipping its toes into other industries as well. In December of last year, the company also bought the comic book publisher, Dark Horse Comics. It is currently unknown how the new deal will affect the upcoming film, Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim.
Here is the synopsis for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.
Amazon Studios is producing The Rings of Power in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema. J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are serving as showrunners and executive producers on the series.
The ensemble for the show consists of Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, and Daniel Weyman.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will premiere on September 1st on Amazon Prime Video. Stay tuned for all the latest news on how Embracer Group will affect the franchise going forward and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.