Saul Zaenz is reportedly selling the rights to the Tolkien novels it has owned for many years, including the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie, games, merchandise, events, theme park rights, and Similar rights to The Silmarillion and The Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth, which are estimated to fetch more than $2 billion.
Zaenz Company’s rights to The Silmarillion and The Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth are limited, subject to the Tolkien Estate’s decision to develop the film or otherwise, That is to say, if the Silmarillion movie is to be made, it must first be “if the Tolkien Estate wants to do it”.
Middle-earth fans are no strangers to Saul Zaenz, the entertainment mogul who died in 2017 and bought the rights to multiple adaptations of Tolkien’s works in 1976 (now in his company’s hands), However, it does not include one: the adaptation rights of episodes with more than 8 episodes. So in recent years, Amazon has taken advantage of this loophole and made a deal directly with the Tolkien Estate, and now Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” series is about to launch.
Warner Bros. currently also enjoys some of the film development rights for “Lord of the Rings”, because its New Line Cinema has launched the world-renowned Peter Jackson X “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy (of course, making this trilogy is also a discussion to Zaenz’s license), and Warner Bros. announced last year that it was launching a feature-length animated “Lord of the Rings” film. However, the report revealed that due to some reasons such as Warner Bros.’s inactive development of new content related to “The Lord of the Rings”, last year, a large number of the IP’s live-action film adaptation rights returned to Zaenz’s hands.
This change, coupled with the fact that Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” series is currently in the publicity period, has increased the popularity of Tolkien-related IP, so Zaenz believes that the time is right to sell the adaptation rights in its hands.