The fantasy universe of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books has seen an epic resurgence thanks to the film franchises of The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit being established over the past decade. But a proposed attraction that looks to add to that prominence looks to meet with some stiff resistance.
The city of Rincon De La Victoria, located in the southern Spanish province of Malaga and part of the autonomous Andalusia community, is going forward with plans to bring all of the Tolkien characters to life through the construction of a theme park. The park, called La Comarca or The Shire, was first announced at the FITUR, an international tourism convention by the council formed to get the park underway. The council went all out in promoting the park, even having actors dressed up as Frodo and other Tolkien characters present at the convention. La Comarca is slated to be done by the end of the year, with an estimated price tag of over two and a half million dollars. The park will be divided into different zones to cater to visitors’ various needs. For instance, a small part entitled Parque Urbano is designed to accommodate those who don’t want to walk long distances. A vast lake is planned for La Comarca, with a picnic area attached. And one other area, known as Zona de Aventura,, will contain hiking trails along with climbing walls and ‘Hobbit’ styled homes.
This has gotten the attention of Warner Brothers., the film studio company who currently own copyrights related to The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings. While the mayor of Rincon de La Victoria, Francisco Salado, has claimed that the park wouldn’t violate any copyright laws whatsoever, there are some aspects that are bound to raise concern on the part of Warner Brothers. Indeed, even politicians have questioned the park’s construction as well as the mayor and council’s assertion that there won’t be any infringement. A member of the Izquierda Unida party stated: “The pictures used similar to those widely known from The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings’ sagas, and the font used for the advertisements is practically identical.’