Christopher Tolkien has stepped down from his position as the director of the Tolkein Estate.
It is believed that Christopher Tolkien quietly resigned at the end of August, allowing the recent deal with Amazon to take place, a report from TheOneRIng.net reports.
The 93-year-old author and historian is the son of J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, and has presided over the estate for many years. He had just edited and published one of his father's works, Beren and Luthien, in June. The preface for the book stated, "This is (preemptively) my last book in the long series of editions of my father’s writings."
Tolkien's youngest child, Priscilla, and other grandchildren continue to run the estate, but Christopher's departure changes everything. The new leadership of the estate may be much more willing to sell the rights to Tolkien properties, for example, which could pave the way for adaptations of the author's many other works.
In the age of movie deals and and television rights, Christopher has remained resistant to the idea of selling the rights to his father's work for the sake of money. Now, for better or worse, this may change, and it opens up the possibility of transforming Tolkien's Middle-Earth stories into a franchise, not unlike Harry Potter or Star Wars.