14 Mar 2012

Hobbit pub fights to keep name

8:51 am on 14 March 2012

An English pub that has been called The Hobbit for the past 20 years is fighting an American movie company to keep its name.

Landlady Stella Roberts says California-based movie producer the Saul Zaentz Company is demanding the Southampton pub change its name and remove all references to the JRR Tolkien classic.

The company owns the worldwide film, stage and merchandising rights to The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit.

There is an internet campaign to help save the pub name, and Punch Taverns, which owns the freehold of the pub, says its legal team is investigating.

The first of two Hobbit movies, being made by Sir Peter Jackson in New Zealand, is due out in December.