May 19, 2000
New Line Rings In Huge
New Line International has clinched a trio of massive
territorial deals on its epic adaptation of JRR Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings with
Nippon Herald taking Japanese rights, Metropolitan Filmexport buying French and Taewon
Entertainment acquiring Korean rights to the trilogy.
In a deal sealed here on Monday night, the Japanese
distributor is believed to have paid as much as $25m for the trilogy movies whose
collective budget is estimated at around $200m. Peter Jackson is directing the trio
simultaneously in Wellington, New Zealand with a large ensemble cast led by Elijah Wood,
Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler and Sean Bean.
"What Peter Jackson is doing in New Zealand is one of
the most exciting projects on the market in the next four years," said New Line
International chief Rolf Mittweg. "We are proud that we have identified our
distributors in each territory at such an early stage."
The Fellowship Of The Ring is scheduled to open domestically through New Line at
Christmas 2000, The Two Towers will follow at Christmas 2001 and The Return Of The King at
The films will be fed through NLI's network of output deals with distributors
such as Entertainment in the UK and Kinowelt in Germany.