Court Blocks The Hobbit 'Mockbuster'
Judge rules that low-budget film company was copying Tolkien work...
A low-budget movie company has been foiled in its attempt to make a film called Age Of The Hobbits.
A Californian federal judge is reported to have granted a temporary restraining order against The Asylum over its latest production.
The Hollywood Reporter told how Warner Bros, New Line Cinema, MGM and Saul Zaentz initiated legal action against the company back in August, claiming that the movie's marketing infringes its copyright.
But The Asylum - which has previously produced films called Snakes On A Train, Transmorphers: Fall of Man and American Warships - protested that their film was based on a type of prehistoric human subspecies informally known as "hobbits".
However, Judge Philip Gutierrez wrote: "Scientists gave Homo floresiensis the nickname 'hobbit' because its appearance resembled Tolkien's hobbits, as described in his novels.
"Given that Homo floresiensis received the nickname 'hobbit' specifically because of its resemblance to Tolkien's fictional hobbits, the Court finds Asylum's argument that its movie is wholly unrelated to Tolkien's work... to be disingenuous."
Age Of The Hobbits was to be released on DVD today, but the company will now have to wait until 28 January to see if the injunction is converted into a preliminary injunction.