’Lord of the Rings’ New Rights Owner Believes the IP Can Be as Big as Marvel and 'Star Wars’
Over the summer, it was announced that media conglomerate Embracer group was in talks to acquire Middle-earth enterprises, which owns the entire IP catalogue and worldwide rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The financial details have now been finalized, and the man who brokered the deal is giving some information about it.
According to Deadline, ACF Investment Bank CEO Thomas Dey recently spoke at MIPCOM, an annual trade show held in the French town of Cannes, where he described Lord of the Rings as one of around six “pieces of IP of this magnitude on the planet,” pairing it with other major franchises like Star Wars or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, saying:
“I think this asset has the ability to get to [Marvel and Star Wars’] scale. Someone has just needed to have the belief that this can be as ambitious as it can be.”
According to the trade, the deal gives Embracer motion picture, video game, board game, merchandizing, theme parks, and stage production rights relating to The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises, as well as matching rights in other Middle-earth-related literary works authorized by the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins.
For now, it seems like the main focus of the Group will be on gaming, a form of entertainment where Lord of the Rings has thrived in the past. CEO Lars Wingefors said:
“Having 10,000 developers in the group means we are thinking about what we can do with the IP going forward and this justifies value for us. And then we have a number of amazing opportunities to do ‘transmedia’ projects. We can power creatives to succeed with their goals and dreams.”
However, film adaptations are very much on the table. In a statement released shortly after the announcement was made over the summer, Embracer Group said:
“Other opportunities include exploring additional movies based on iconic characters such as Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, Eowyn and other characters from the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and continue to provide new opportunities for fans to explore this fictive world through merchandising and other experiences.
The acquisition of the rights is in line with Embracer’s IP-driven transmedia strategy. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ are among the world’s largest, most enduring iconic entertainment franchises and birthed the fantasy genre.”
For now, the Lord of the Rings IP is back with the Prime Video series The Rings of Power, which recently wrapped airing season 1. The second season of the show recently started principal photography in the U.K.
Miguel Fernández is a Spanish student that has movies as his second passion in life. His favorite movie of all time is The Lord of the Rings, but he is also a huge Star Wars fan. However, fantasy movies are not his only cup of tea, as authors like Scorsese, Fincher, Kubrick or Hitchcock have been an obsession for him since he started to understand the language of filmmaking. He is that guy who will watch a black and white movie, just because it is in black and white.