Author`s name Pravda.Ru

Hollywood producer claims his share of Lord of the Rings profits

A Hollywood producer is suing the makers of The Lord of the Rings movies for $20m (?10.9m) in royalties. Saul Zaentz had held the rights to the JRR Tolkien books since 1976.

He says he licensed the rights to Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema in exchange for a share of the profits.

Mr Zaentz, who produced One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, claims in his lawsuit that New Line owes him $20m from the first movie.

He alleges his share should have been based on gross profits and not the film's net income. In his lawsuit, filed at Los Angeles Superior Court, he says the difference between the figures is $198m (?108m) of which he is owed 10%, told BBC.

Zaentz's claim against New Line Cinema states he is owed a percentage of adjusted gross receipts after he bought the rights to the works of the story's author JRR Tolkien in the 1970s - licensing it to the movie company in return for a share of the profits.

The three 'Rings' films have grossed a combination of $2.9bn (€2.3bn) worldwide.

The English Patient producer's claim, based on a partial audit of the first film, 2001's The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, stated he was owed a percentage of adjusted gross receipts, informs IOL.

Zaentz bought the rights to Tolkien's novels in 1976 from United Artists. In 1997 he optioned them to Miramax who then cut a deal with New Line.

This isn't the first multi-Oscar winning movie that Zaentz has battled over - he previously entered into a dispute with Miramax over The English Patient, which he produced. He claimed that he and the actors in the film did not receive their profit participation, writes the Guardian.

On the music side, he has been at war for decades with John Fogerty, the former singer/songwriter with rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, whose copyrights Zaentz owns, mentions NZ Herald according to Reuters.