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Follow-up on Tolkien family spat: As far as I can ascertain, it appears that there was in fact a dust-up in the Tolkien family regarding the new movie. From what I’ve been told, Christopher Tolkien and his son fell out over the latter’s desire to be in on the production (whether in a consulting capacity or not, is not clear, but that sounds like the most likely role). In any case, Tolkien’s son and literary executor probably made it clear to his own offspring this would not be allowed—and probably had the financial strings to make his decision stick. A pity, as far as I’m concerned. The movie follows the book and Tolkien’s background writings to the letter, indeed, to the point of slavishly following the descriptions of landscapes. The setting of Isengard, for example, where Christopher Lee’s treacherous Saruman character lives, is point-for-point as Tolkien described it. Anyway, a Tolkien grand-child might have brought even more to the table in terms of detail….

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