And here is how I heard that it played out. Universal asked Warner Bros. to approach the Tolkien family since the Tolkien's trust WB with the success of the LOTR series. WB described how Universal was willing to work with JK Rowling and how the 2 of them (WB and JK) held Universal's feet to the fire to uphold Rowling's vision of the IP. And I believe that the Tolkien's may have actually talked to JK Rowling. This was before Universal said a word to the Tolkien's. So after WB stoked the fire, Universal entered the picture with an impressive plan.I have no doubt that WB and Universal would love to do a theme park and probably might even be able to argue the legal rights to do it if the design stays only within the scope and story of the movies. The real battle will be with the current controllers of the Tolkien Estate green-lighting such a project. While the younger generations like the movies, those currently in control loathe the movies for not being sticking exactly to the books. They also have never been fans of all the merchandising of the books and currently in a lawsuit with Warner Bros for what they consider an breach of contract for how the rights are being used digitally (online games, video games, etc.). Still, while they may hate the movies, they love the money with nearly every lawsuit really coming down to the size of the paycheck. If Universal is willing to pay a high enough price, this could become a reality. (via TORn)
As of now there is a lot of hammering out to go, but Universal has gotten a lot farther than Disney ever did.
I put this in the general/misc. Universal thread because no one knows where/which park this would go into. But given the scope, I don't believe that the remaining LC would be large enough. If I had to guess, I would say the half of the cast parking lot closest to USF. with the back half becoming a cast member parking garage.
Friday, January 04, 2013
Universal Plans Middle-Earth Theme Park?
A post on the Orlando United forums has a unverified rumor that Universal Studios, Warner Bros and the Tolkien Estate are considering a theme park for along the same lines as the Harry Potter area. From the post: