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‘The Hobbit’ - what happened before the “Lord of the Rings”

Before the arrival of Middle-earth, the fellowship and the ring, there was a whole world presented in J.R.R Tolkein’s 1937 novel 'The Hobbit'.

Now transformed into a two-part film directed by Peter Jackson, the British public will see how the lost Dwarf Kingodm of Erebor faced with the dragon Smaug is in danger with Martin Freeman playing the main role of Bilbo Baggins.

Currently in production in New Zealand’s mountains, the film is set to hit the big screen in two instalments: firstly on 14th December 2012 and then on 13th December 2013.

What is in a name?

The American multinational company « Saul Zaentz”, owner of the Lord of the Rings film, stage and merchandising rights, is suing a pub in the south of England, Southampton, for all the references to characters and ideas in the book by J.R.R Tolkein.

Despite being called “The Hobbit” for 20 years, the pub is facing legal problems for selling cocktails with character’s names, using particular fonts and decorations as interior and exterior design as well as website layout. Despite trying to defend itself by saying it is more of an homage to Tolkien’s work and not something they intend to capitalise on, the American giant refuses to let up.

The situation has sparked fierce reactions on internet. One such comment suggests changing the name to “Hollywood greed”.

Heather Cartwright, who leads the campaign on the Internet, expresses her concern: “Part of the fun of The Hobbit is its theme. I can’t think of any other pub where I’ve walked past a Ringwraith, or had the pleasure of being able to say: ‘I’ll have a Gandalf, please’.

In response to such declarations, Saul Zaentz highlights the fact that it has complete rights to everything relating to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

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