One sale to rule them all? Reports suggest that the Zaentz Company is looking to cash in on one of the most valuable franchises on the planet.

Well this could be huge. Variety is reporting that the Zaentz Company, the longtime owners of the film rights to J R R Tolkien’s legendary fantasy series The Lord  Of The Rings, is set to put them on sale. Not only would this include movie rights, but also rights for video games as well, potentially a hugely lucrative market. Add in too merchandising and live events rights, two other areas that might also earn a quid or two.

The timing here seems carefully thought out: Amazon is set to launch its Lord Of The Rings prequel TV show this year, having reportedly  shelled out more than half a billion dollars to get it to the screen.

Should the rights to Tolkien’s classic trilogy be purchased by another party between now and then, it might just grab a headline or two, whilst if Amazon could secure the rest of the rights to the franchise? Well, that really would be one corporation to rule them all.

The Zaentz Company purchased the rights from Tolkien back in 1976 and made the animated feature of Lord Of The Rings in 1978, before being a part of the classic Peter Jackson trilogy that mesmerised film fans at the turn of this century. The ownership situation is somewhat complicated by Warner Bros reportedly retaining some form of development rights through New Line Cinema, who financially took the plunge on Jackson’s trilogy. Warner Bros’ reluctance to produce new Lord Of The Rings movies in the two decades since those films hit cinemas is reportedly the issue behind the sale, but as mentioned above, the timing really is interesting.

Expect the rights to sell big. If Amazon’s huge purchase of the TV rights alone is anything to go by, we could be looking at several billion dollars, perhaps even matching the $4 billion that Disney paid to acquire Marvel back in 2009. We’ll certainly keep you posted as this story unfolds.

Thank you for visiting! If you’d like to support our attempts to make a non-clickbaity movie website:

Follow Film Stories on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.

Buy our Film Stories and Film Stories Junior print magazines here.

Become a Patron here.

Related Posts