Tuesday, April 17, 2012
HarperCollins to Publish Official Tie-ins to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again Films
HarperCollinsPublishers has acquired exclusive worldwide publishing rights from Warner Bros. Consumer Products for tie-in books to the two highly anticipated films The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, directed by Peter Jackson and productions of New Line Cinema and MGM.
“Inspired by the two films based on The Hobbit, the HarperCollins companion books are a fantastic way for fans of the world of Middle-earth to immerse themselves in the film experience,” said Karen McTier, Executive Vice President of Domestic Licensing and Worldwide Marketing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “HarperCollins has a strong history with the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and we know that the detailed tie-in books will bring The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again to life in an in-depth and imaginative way.”
Victoria Barnsley, CEO and Publisher of HarperCollins UK and International, said, “The books by J.R.R. Tolkien are exceptional in their quality and their popularity, as are the films that they have inspired, and The Hobbit is the story that started it all three-quarters of a century ago. I am a huge admirer of the legacy of these stories and my own arrival at HarperCollins coincided with the work on The Lord of the Rings tie-ins, so I am especially excited to be returning to this unique publishing phenomenon.”
The Hobbit, first published by George Allen & Unwin in 1937, has been a perennial bestseller since starting life with a very modest 1,500-copy print run. Since then, it has gone on to sell many millions of copies in more than 50 languages, and in this 75th anniversary year of its publication, is set to captivate another generation of readers. HarperCollins acquired the publishing rights to The Hobbit and its sequel The Lord of the Rings when it bought Unwin Hyman publishers in 1990, revitalizing the books’ sales and steering their publishing and book licensing through the unprecedented heights of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in 2001-2003.
Chris Smith, Editorial Director for Tolkien at HarperCollins, said, “We are delighted to have been able to pull together many of the same experts to work on these books, as well as new talents to update the publishing mix.”
Author, biographer and broadcaster Brian Sibley, who recently won the BBC Audio Drama Award for his dramatization of The History of Titus Groan, has returned to New Zealand to write the behind-the-scenes Official Movie Guides, while novelist and former Tolkien editor Jane Johnson is writing essential Visual Companions to introduce filmgoers to the remarkable world of the two films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. Bestselling New Zealand author and photographer Ian Brodie is writing the Location Guide which highlights the spectacular locations in New Zealand that have provided the settings for the films. In addition, HarperCollins will be breaking new ground with a range of children’s books in the form of annuals, movie storybooks and feature titles, as well as a new series of lavish hardbacks written and designed by the award-winning team at Weta, who are working closely with the production team to guarantee that these books will be bursting with insider information and stunning visual imagery.
David Brawn, Publisher of Estates at HarperCollins, said, “We are thrilled to be working again on film tie-in publishing for what we know will be a pair of remarkable films. The Lord of the Rings books sold 25 million copies worldwide during the films and I know we are in for similar levels of excitement with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. At the heart of all this is the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, which will be available in a range of print and digital formats to suit fans of all ages. I have no doubt that these films will leave filmgoers wanting to read or re-read The Hobbit and be enchanted by the phenomenal storytelling of one of the world’s most popular and inventive authors.”