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The heirs of J.R.R. Tolkien and the movie studio that produced the epic Lord of the Rings film trilogy have settled a lawsuit over profits that threatened to derail an adapation of The Hobbit.

JRR Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien

The out-of-court resolution, announced Tuesday and reported by The Associated Press, will not only clear the way for the much-beloved and long-expected prequel, but will also benefit charitable causes worldwide. That’s because The Tolkien Trust, a British charity that manages Tolkien’s estate, is one of the main beneficiaries of the settlement.

Along with publisher HarperCollins, it sued New Line Cinema last year for profits from the 2001-03 movies, pledging to do whatever necessary to protects its rights, up to and including the revocation of the studio’s licensing rights.

Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) is directing the two-part adaptation of The Hobbit, in which Bilbo Baggins goes on a quest to the Lonely Mountain with the wizard Gandalf the Grey and 13 dwarves, and along the way discovers the lost One Ring of Power that rises to such prominence in The Lord of the Rings.

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