Ohnotheydidnt.com reports that Universal may be considering the creation of a 'Middle-earth'- themed amusement park based on the popular Lord of the Rings franchise. According to the source they site, "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."While it appears a deal may be close, Universal still has some obstacles to overcome. The Tolkien Estate is well-known for being wary of merchandising and is currently involved in a legal battle with Warner Bros and Saul Zaentz, claiming the companies are, "merchandising beyond what was contractually agreed upon in the 1969 rights deal."However according to Micechat, a site which publishes theme park news, Universal, "is very close to acquiring the rights to develop and produce attractions based on the successful Lord of the Rings franchise of films."
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