New Line Cinema was sued Monday by The Tolkien Trust (a British charity that manages the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien) and publisher HarperCollins for a total of $150 million. According to Variety, the trust claims that it did not receive any of its gross profit participation payments for the three films based on the The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship of The Ring trilogy.
In addition to the $150 million in compensatory damages, the lawsuit also seeks punitive damages, and most important, a declaration from the court that the plaintiffs can terminate any further rights New Line may have to the Tolkien works under the agreements-including The Hobbit.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.