It’s David versus Goliath, or maybe, Frodo versus Suaron: A small English pub versus a Hollywood giant:
A local pub in the English city of Southhampton has been told to remove the reference to the Tolkien creation “The Hobbit” or face legal action. They have been given a deadline of May 31st to change the name.
The Saul Zaentz Company, owned by by Hollywood producer of the English Patient and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Saul Zaentz, is threatening suit if the company does not change its name.
The pub has been operating under “The Hobbit” for over 20 years, long before the blockbuster hit The Lord of the Rings Trilogy or The Hobbit, which is yet to be released, ever came out.
In an interview with the English publication The Southern Daily Echo, Landlady Stella Roberts has said that she doesn’t have the money to stand up to the Hollywood mogul. “We just haven’t got the resources to fight it. How can I take on a multi-million pound power? It’s all in the hands of the solicitors at the moment – we are just stunned.”
She had no intention of stealing the writers work, only to pay hommage to the books she loved. “It’s not just a case of changing the name – it’s all the merchandise, artwork, absolutely everything. We never planned to steal anybody else’s ideas – we’re all such huge fans of Tolkien that it’s more like a homage.”
Patrons have been trying to save their pub by reaching out to media outlets and by gaining support on social media. A fan page on Facebook has been set up to rally support for their favorite watering-hole. One supporter offered this humorous send-up based on the famous poem from the Rings Trilogy:
Three beers for the Bouncers, by the door.
Seven for the students with their *precious* loans
Nine for the bikers, born to lose;
One for the landlady, while she’s on the phone:
To the TV stations, and the internets.
One beer to rule them all,
One beer to bind them,
(At least until the following day,
Then in the bog you’ll find them).
In the land of Hampshire, where trademark lawyers lie.
Twitter is joining in support:
@stephenfry Please help us save our local Lord-of-the-Rings-themed pub, which is currently facing legal action! #saveTheHobbit