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In very early January we shared interesting intel from a theme park forum where a source said Universal and the Tolkien family were working on developing a Lord of the Rings/Hobbit theme park.

Now a new trademark registered just one week ago lends credence to these reports.

We’re actually surprised it’s taken this long for The Saul Zaentz Company – who owns the worldwide film, stage, and merchandise rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit franchises – to get the trademark for “Middle-Earth.”

Nonetheless, the trademark was filed January 22 and covers “Amusement arcades; Children’s entertainment and amusement center show; Entertainment services, namely, arranging and conducting special events at an amusement park; Providing amusement parks; Providing recreation facilities; Providing theme park services.”

In other words, a Middle Earth theme park.

This is by no means official confirmation of a park where you get to run around like a Hobbit and eat multiple breakfasts (could you imagine?!), but it’s undoubtedly an interesting piece of evidence to tack onto our report from January 2.

The rumored story of how Universal and the Tolkien family got together on this project is an interesting one. Universal reportedly asked Warner Bros. to approach the Tolkien’s first. The park asked the studio to make first contact because of the existing relationship Tolkien and WB have built to create The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.

Warner Bros. told the Tolkien’s about the success of The Wizarding World theme park and how the final product was loyal to J.K. Rowling’s story and very well received by fans. Reportedly, the Tolkien’s even spoke to Rowling herself. It was only after all this that Universal and the Tolkien’s began developing ideas.

The Middle Earth franchise is a hot one over the next couple of years. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opened in December and went on to surpass the box office numbers of two Lord of the Rings films. Two more Hobbit films are due out in December 2013 and July 2014.

Thanks to ParkRumors.com, who caught the trademark filing.

  • http://twitter.com/MusicandHouse J

    hmm I’n not sure how well a Lord of the Rings theme park would work. Also, I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is any indication of them building a LOTR theme park as opposed to an active measure to make sure that nobody else tries to create one with the untrademarked content.

  • Jenn

    I bet it will be similar to the Wizarding World. Not an entire park, but a land in an already established park. I have to say that I would flip my lid for this!!!! I was thrilled about WWOHP, but Middle earth would be the greatest thing ever.

  • SnatcherGirl

    I’d so have my wedding there. Please happen.

  • RingBearer

    Na vedui!

  • kitster_kosh

    YES!! Please!! Put ALL my favorite places within walking distance of each other!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=607519910 Catherine Lai

    Flight of the Nazgul!

  • http://www.facebook.com/alysia.seymour Alysia Seymour

    I REALLY hope this happens! I would spend my money for an experience in Middle Earth no matter how big or small it is.

  • http://twitter.com/ShireSusie Susie

    Middle-earth is something so close to my heart that I’m slightly terrified at the idea of it being turned into a theme park. I just don’t see how they can do it in a way that won’t make it commercialised and tacky. If you really want to visit Middle-earth why not save up for a trip to New Zealand and visit the Hobbiton set and the other beautiful natural landscapes used in the films?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Fisher/100000247518451 Eric Fisher

    Oh, well….”Zantz can’t dance, but he’ll steal your money…” Oh, wait – I’ll change that to “Vantz can’t Dance” to avoid a lawsuit. Like John Fogerty did.

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