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Tolkien family files suit for 'morally questionable' marketing of 'Rings'

Tolkien family files suit: The heirs of J.R.R. Tolkien are suing producers of two Tolkien moves, 'Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' for selling digital rights to an online slot machine game. The family filed suit in Los Angeles.

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Actor Ian McKellen is shown in a scene from the film "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." The J.R.R. Tolkien family says the producers of The Hobbit and 'Lord of the Rings' have gone beyond their merchandising rights and filed a law suit.

REUTERS/James Fisher /Warner Bros Entertainment/Handout

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The heirs of late author J.R.R. Tolkien are suing the producers of "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" movie trilogies over alleged exploitative merchandizing.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, comes a week before the premiere of the "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in Wellington. The first film in the trilogy hits theaters worldwide next month.

The estate of Tolkien is upset at what it calls "morally questionable" digital marketing including a Lord of the Rings online slot machine, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. The Tolkien estate is seeking $80 million from Warner Bros., its New Line subsidiary and rights holder Saul Zaentz Co.

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