Thursday, August 18, 2022

Then Came the Swedes

So, thanks to friend Jim for sharing the news that people keep giving huge amounts of money to get Tolkien licensing rights. This time it's the Swedes:

Here's a passage that shows how widely they interpret their remit.

. . .  the deal . . . gives Embracer the rights to movies,

 video games, board games, merchandising, theme parks 

and stage productions relating to Tolkien’s works.

This is essentially the old Saul Zaentz 'movie merchandising' that Tolkien Enterprises has licensed, re-licensed, and sub-licensed from for decades.  But the new folks, Embracer /Asmodee intend to go further:

The company said it will explore “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.”

--That is, they plan to go boldly into territory that was considered hands off under the Amazon license.

It'll be interesting to see what new projects come out of this (e.g., a Middle-earth theme park*), and how the new Swedish overlords exercise their stewardship.

--John R.



Wurmbrand said...

For some admirers of Tolkien's writings and artwork, the thing to do will be: look the other way.

Indeed, to look the other way is a practice that needs cultivation in our media-saturated and extremist culture. The solicitations to attend to this, that, and the other thing never end, and one's attention can't respond to them all.

If truly worthy "Tolkien" enterprises actually do develop, why, someone will probably tell us about them. If we miss them, it's not the end of the world, and think what a lot of unworthy stuff we will also have missed.

Dale Nelson

John D. Rateliff said...

Hi Dale

Some wd say that there has already been worthy material to come out of earlier efforts at adaptation. Shore's soundtracks to the Peter Jackson films or that effective use of landscapes of New Zealand come to mind.

It's like all the rest of the Tolkien-inspired art: There's a lot of it, a small body of which is excellent, most is so-so, some is wretched. None of it has any significant impact on my work as a Tolkien scholar.

--John R.

Paul W said...

Very true comments, especially about Shore's music and the New Zealand landscapes.