Are we about to head into a Tolkein renaissance? It might be the case now that Saul Zaentz. Co has revealed its plans to auction the game rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
Variety reports that Zaentz. Co has hired ACDF Investment Bank to handle the sale as it unfolds this week and makes its round through the Hollywood buyers. Estimates are putting the sale value to the tune of at least $2 billion. It doesn’t seem like this is anything but an accident as Amazon is working on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power for Prime Video and is set to launch this September.
Right now aside from that, we have The Lord of the Rings: Gollum in development which was delayed last year to 2022 and comes from Daedalic Entertainment.
The Zaentz. Co rights encompass film, video games, merchandising, live events, and theme parks. There are also limited matching rights with the Tolkien estate should it decide to make movies or content based on the compilations of Tolkien’s writing, “The Silmarillion” and “The Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth.”
I wouldn’t put it past seeing Warner Bros. scoop up the rights as they have produced several games set in Middle-earth, including Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War.