Saul Zaentz Company, the production company that holds the rights to ‘ESDLA’ and ‘The Hobbit’, has decided to sell them to the highest bidder for an amount that will exceed $2 billion.
The rights to be able to create and edit video games, movies and other content based on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are put up for sale. The cultural magazine Variety reports that the Saul Zaentz Company has decided to auction the rights to make adaptations of Tolkien’s works.
According to estimates, the transaction would have a price tag of at least $2 billion. The production company together with an investment firm is knocking on the doors of different companies to offer the package that would give access to the rights to make video games, films, merchandising, live events and theme parks of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
The package also includes limited correspondence rights should the Tolkien Estate (the legal organization that controls and manages J.R.R. Tolkien’s estate) allow productions to be made based on The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth, both works published after the author’s death.
One of the leading contenders to grab the rights is Amazon, which on September 2 will premiere on Prime Video The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, eight episodes that would have cost up to 500 million dollars assuming the largest production in the history of television. The first trailer for the series will be shown during the Super Bowl.
The only Lord of the Rings game in sight is The Lords of the Rings: Gollum, a narrative-focused stealth action adventure developed by Daedalic Entertainment that will arrive in 2022 on all platforms.
The company Leyou was working on an ambitious MMO to be published by Amazon Games, but it was cancelled by the American company when Tencent bought Leyou.
Monolith Productions, responsible for Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor, are working on a Wonder Woman game.