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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:56 pm 
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That's rather bizarre. Motions for extension are generally granted in 15- or 30- day increments; and even then the motion and order ought to be in the file.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:12 am 
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Still no answer or other responsive pleadings on file, and no motion dates set. There must be a settlement on the horizon.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:17 am 
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The only explanation I can think of is that the Estate filed in order to beat the SoL, but agreed not to seek default so long as talks continued (esp given the corporate reshuffling at NL/TW)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:15 pm 
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There is now a stipulation and order extending time to respond to the complaint on file by 30 days, dated 4/14/08. It basically states that the parties are discussing resolution (just as we suspected) and that defendants have agreed to provide plaintiffs certain documents for their audits of the films in question. The response is now due by May 14, but I suspect we may see a settlement by then.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:34 pm 
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Guillermo del Toro posts on a Hellboy messageboard, and apparently he recently said he expects to be able to start discussing the Hobbit very soon, pretty much any day now. He said that things are already happening behind the scenes, including discussions of casting and locations.

I don't think he would be talking this way to the fans if something weren't imminent.

Edited to add: I finally remembered where I'd read this

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:36 pm 
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Okay, now del Toro has made the following post on TORN's message boards:

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A riddle for you all-

Half familiar, half unknown.

A thing it is, ¨It almost is-¨

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.

The day of the moon will be
when all is revealed to thee
Questions will cease
Answers will please
We´ll learn of the Shire
and all you desire.

At ten minus Three.
Joining to be
Ten minus Eight
Add to the slate
of the two dozen princes
that die without winces.
And add to each day of
the week.


Make of that what you will. :rofl:

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:38 pm 
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:)

The riddle game scene remains one of my very favorite things Tolkien wrote. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:48 pm 
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I went over and found the post and replies.

Link

I don't think anyone's having much luck with it. But based on things del Toro has said elsewhere, we can probably expect an announcement this week.

He also said that if he makes the films, he will probably spend five years in New Zealand.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:41 pm 
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There are worse places to be! I wonder if he needs any help...


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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 3:05 pm 
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Well now, two significant developments on this front.

First, the court records now show that the defendants have filed a demurrer to the Complaint, essentially seeking to have it get thrown out. They have also filed a separate motion to strike the punitive damages claims. This belies the suggestion that a settlement was imminent.

Even more ominous for those hoping for a quick settlement, TORN posted an article for the Sunday Times online stating that Christopher Tolkien is calling for “one last crusade” against the producers of the films.

Quote:
Hobbit movies meet dire foe in son of Tolkien

The son of JRR Tolkien will try next week to halt Hollywood plans to follow the critical and commercial triumph of the Lord of the Rings trilogy by filming The Hobbit and a sequel.

Christopher Tolkien, 83, is calling for “one last crusade” in a long-running court battle against the producers of The Lord of the Rings only weeks before carpenters are due to begin work in New Zealand on the sets for the latest Middle-earth epic.

He claims the Tolkien family is owed £80m by New Line Cinema under a deal for a 7.5% share of profits that was signed in 1969, when his father reluctantly sold film rights to pay a tax bill.

Today the film-makers will confirm that Sir Ian McKellen is returning to his role as the wizard Gandalf in The Hobbit and that Andy Serkis will reprise his role as the murderous creature Gollum.

Sir Ian Holm, who played the hobbit Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings, is expected to narrate. Viggo Mortensen has unexpectedly been asked to return as Aragorn, a character who does not appear in the original Hobbit story, published in 1937.

Peter Jackson, who directed the Rings trilogy, is to produce the Hobbit films. The director will be Guillermo del Toro, the Mexican whose grim fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth won three Oscars last year.

However, at a hearing on June 6 Christopher Tolkien will ask a Californian judge to back his claim that he can “terminate” film rights to The Hobbit. He is said to be furious with the New Line studio, which earned £3 billion from the Rings trilogy. Tolkien’s lawyers accuse New Line of “accounting chicanery”. Warner Bros, owner of New Line, declined to comment.

In an internet press conference last night, Jackson and del Toro answered questions about the new films, which will cost about £150m to make over the next three years.

The first will be rooted firmly in the original book The Hobbit, following the naive young Bilbo on a quest for dragon’s gold and showing how he obtained his all-powerful ring. The second will cover the 50 years between his return home and the events of The Lord of the Rings.

That period is described in The Silmarillion, a collection of notes and tales assembled by Christopher Tolkien and published four years after his father’s death in 1973.

Tolkien Jr, described by his biographer as “cantankerous”, is unlikely to allow the film-makers free access to The Silmarillion. He has always been sceptical of Hollywood. Even now relatives are unsure whether he has watched The Lord of the Rings, which won a total of 17 Oscars.


http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article3999008.ece

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 4:14 pm 
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Hoo boy. I thought all this progress was based on, well, progress, and now it appears they may just have been trying to steamroller the Tolkien estate.

But, Voronwë, wouldn't you think that with so much at stake and an entire department full of legal advisers, they would not have committed like this, hugely and publicly with money already being spent, if they weren't pretty darn sure Christopher can't stop them?

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 4:18 pm 
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You would think so, wouldn't you? But that would be predicated on the dubious notion that things tend to make sense.

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 4:19 pm 
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I live in the wrong universe. :(

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 4:20 pm 
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:hug:

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 7:07 pm 
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Well, we could start a petition to New Line, telling them we won't watch any of their other movies until they pay Christopher Tolkien the money they own him.

The more I think about JK Rowling, the more I think how very smart she was with her contracts. Hollywood has always been about the mob screwing talented people, and I guess those with real money-makers to offer have finally figured that out.

It's hard for me to understand why the courts have not made a determination in the Tolkien suit. New Line had to pay off their investors, so even if there were two sets of books, by now there should be enough publically accessible indications of how much money the movies really made. Is any jury in the universe going to believe that the answer is zero?

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 8:07 pm 
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I'm actually very dubious about this piece, and wonder whether it just represents an attempt to make a story out of nothing, or out of no more than the existence of the demurrer and the pending hearing.

"One last crusade" is so completely un-Christopher in style and sentiment that I conclude it was invented, either by the reporter or a 'source' (there are apparently a number of unscrupulous 'sources' who pretend to know the Tolkien family and invent all sorts of nonsense for gullible scribblers). This much you can take to the bank: that I happen to know CRT's actual feelings about the case, and, while I can't discuss them, I can guarantee they don't remotely resemble the ogreish bosh alleged in this article.

Quote:
First, the court records now show that the defendants have filed a demurrer to the Complaint, essentially seeking to have it get thrown out. They have also filed a separate motion to strike the punitive damages claims. This belies the suggestion that a settlement was imminent.


Look at the calendar, Vor: the extension of time expired 11 days ago, and the defense had to file something or default.

I doubt that there's any real news at all: just a British Hollywood reporter (read 'paparazzo') stirring the pot.


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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 9:08 pm 
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That's encouraging, sol. Thanks for passing along whatever info you can.

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 9:22 pm 
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soli, I don't put any more credence to the specifics of that article than you do, but there is no way that New Line would have filed a demurrer if a settlement was close (the demurrer and the motion to strike were actually filed on 5/14, but the court records didn't reflect it until late this week). Under California rules of civil procedure, they could still have filed a motion for judgment on the pleading if they had filed an answer now and the settlement somehow fell apart. I am almost 100% convinced that this is a sign that the settlement negotiations have fallen apart. Undoubtably, the Times learned of this and spun it into this inflammatory article.

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 9:25 pm 
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Any chance of supplying a glossary with this thread? :blackeye: What's a demurrer, preciouses? Is it crunchable?

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 9:30 pm 
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Sorry. :oops: A demurrer is essentially a motion to dismiss the case. It is basically saying that even if everything that is stated in the Complaint is true, the plaintiffs still can not win the case. They are relatively rarely granted, and I don't think that it will be in this case. But it shows me that New Line is vigorously defending the case, which suggests that no settlement is imminent.

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