A plan to build a J.R.R. Tolkien theme park in the Spanish coastal town of Rincón de la Victoria has attracted the all-seeing eye of Warner Bros.
Announced early this month by the town's mayor, La Comarca (roughly, "The Shire") was initially trumpeted as "a top-rated tourist attraction" based on the works of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings author. However, with a budget of just $2 million, the 20-acre Shire seems like a pretty low-rent affair; y'know, a gift kiosk, a couple of carnival cutouts and a gaggle of prickly Hobbits to pose for photos and pick up trash.
However, with a cry of "My precious!," Warner Bros.' lawyers are now scrutinizing the project for potential copyright and trademark infringement.
Euro Weekly News reports that although Tolkien was mentioned in the initial announcement, which was accompanied by actors dressed as Frodo and other characters resembling those from The Lord of the Rings, Rincon de la Victoria representatives now insist the park is based only on "the magic of fairy tales, fantasy, elves, which are universally known and do not belong to any author.”
Opposition party representatives aren't buying that, and it seems unlikely Warner Bros. will either. However, Mayor Francisco "Sharkey" Salado maintains all of the legal issues are squared away, and The Shire will be built by the end of the year. Just in time for Warner Bros. to tear it down.