May 27, 2008 01:39 PM EST

The Hobbit Production May Be Halted

Production of "The Hobbit" maybe coming to a screeching halt if Christopher Tolkien has his way.

The son of the late J.R.R. Tolkien is claiming that he is owed more than $80 million from New Line Cinemas.  In 1969, he signed away the rights to his father's work so that he could pay off a tax bill.  He is scheduled to appear in court on June 6, and will be asking to terminate the film rights to "The Hobbit".

In related news, Sir Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis are expected to announce their return to the franchise June 6th, the same day Tolkien will be appearing in court.

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