Clash of the Empires

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Clash of the Empires
Directed by Joseph Lawson
Produced by
Screenplay by Eric Forsberg
Starring
Music by Chris Ridenhour
Cinematography Richard Vialet
Edited by Rob Pallatina
Production
company
Distributed by The Asylum
Release dates 18th February 2013
Country United States
Language English

Clash of the Empires is an American fantasy/adventure film produced by The Asylum and directed by Joseph Lawson. The film stars Christopher Judge, Bai Ling and Sun Korng.

The film was originally titled Age of the Hobbits and set for release direct-to-DVD on December 11, 2012. It was also given the working title Lord of the Elves. In the tradition of The Asylum's catalog, the film is a mockbuster of the Warner Bros./New Line Cinema/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This led to a lawsuit against The Asylum for copyright infringement.[1] The lawsuit resulted in a temporary restraining order preventing The Asylum from releasing the film on its scheduled release date.[2] It has been alternatively titled "Lord of the Elves" in the United Kingdom.

Cast[edit]

  • Christopher Judge
  • Bai Ling
  • Sun Korng as Goben
  • Kyle Morris as Goben (voice)
  • Jon Kondelik as Gelling (voice)
  • Joseph J. Lawson as Koto (voice)
  • Kelly P. Lawson as the Java Witch Queen (voice)

Plot[edit]

The film is about a prehistoric struggle between a community of Homo floresiensis (known as "hobbits") and their brutal oppressors, Java Man ("Java Men"). The hobbits ally with early humans against the Javas. According to The Asylum, "In an ancient age, the small, peace-loving hobbits are enslaved by the Java Men, a race of flesh-eating komodo dragon-riders. The young hobbit Goben must join forces with their neighbor giants, the humans, to free his people and vanquish their enemies."[3]

Legal issues[edit]

Warner Bros., producers of The Hobbit film series, sent a cease-and-desist letter to The Asylum on August 31, 2012. The Asylum responded by altering some of the promotional material for their film, but they refused to take the word "hobbit" out of the film's title.[2] In November 2012, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, MGM and The Hobbit producer Saul Zaentz commenced legal action against The Asylum for Age of the Hobbits, claiming that they were "free-riding" on the worldwide promotional campaign for Peter Jackson's forthcoming films. The Asylum claimed its movie is legally sound because its hobbits are not based on the J. R. R. Tolkien creations.[4] The Asylum argued that "Age of the Hobbits is about the real-life human subspecies, Homo floresiensis, discovered in 2003 in Indonesia, which have been uniformly referred to as 'hobbits' in the scientific community."[4]

A lawsuit by Warner Bros. resulted in a temporary restraining order preventing The Asylum from releasing the film on its scheduled release date of December 11. The federal judge presiding over the case found that the film violated the "hobbit" trademark and was likely to cause confusion among consumers. As a result, Age of the Hobbits became the first Asylum film to be blocked from release. A hearing was also scheduled for January 28, 2013 to decide whether the restraining order should become a preliminary injunction.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Belloni, Matthew (2012-11-07). "The Hobbit Movie Producers sue Age of the Hobbits Studio for Trademark Infringement (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  2. ^ a b c Fritz, Ben (December 10, 2012). "'Hobbit' knockoff release blocked by judge". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ Moore, Trent (2012-11-08). "Warner Bros. officially trying to kill that hobbit mockbuster". blastr. Retrieved 2013-04-30. 
  4. ^ a b "The Hobbit producers sue 'mockbuster' film company". BBC. 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 

External links[edit]