'Hobbit' Producers Angered By 'Age Of The Hobbits' Mockbuster
The people behind The Hobbit are no fans of what they perceive as imitators. Warner Bros., New Line Cinema and MGM as well as Hobbit producer Saul Zaentz are taking backers of low-budget pic Age of the Hobbits for trademark infringement.
The plaintiffs say that movie label The Asylum, which is behind a slate of "mock-busters" that spoof Hollywood movies, is "free-riding on the marketing campaign of Peter Jackson's upcoming string of Hobbit pics, beginning next month with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Producers of the Jackson film called Age of the Hobbits an "international and willful attempt to trade on the popularity and goodwill" of the filmmaker's The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, according to BBC.
And producers are not looking for any compromise either. They are asking for all "infringing and ad materials and packaging for The Asylum's Hobbit to be destroyed, claiming it may "divert customers and potential customers away from the Hobbit films."
The Zaentz Co which controls the trademark rights to the Tolkien book has also threatened legal action.
Age of the Hobbits is due for a DVD and online release December 11th, just three days before the U.S. opening of Jackson's Hobbit.
"Age of the Hobbits is about the real-life human subspecies, Homo Floresiensis, discovered in 2003 in Indonesia, which have been uniformly referred to as 'Hobbits' in the scientific community," noted Asylum in a statement, adding that it is therefore "protected under the legal doctrines of nominal and traditional fair use." Aylum also said a Google search of 'hobbits' and archaeology would turn up a dozen of disparate articles.
Asylum's previous "mock-busters" include Transmorphers, based on Michael Bay's big budget movie Transformers, and The Da Vinci Treasure, which took its name from The Da Vinci Code, directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks.