With Harry Potter soon to be present in both Universal theme parks, and both Star Wars and Marvel heavily rumored to be getting a massive presence at the Disney parks, it’s kind of shocking it took this long for a theme park based on Tolkien’s Middle-earth saga to get some kind of theme park all its own. But that’s what’s seemingly happening over in Europe; according to reports, the new attraction, which will be coming to Rincon de la Victoria in Spain, will be called “La Comarca,” which translates as “The Shire.”
But don’t start getting too excited and start making your flight reservations just yet, Lord of the Rings fans; the report says that the park will consist of just about 20 acres at the cost of just $2 million. (yes, $2 million, not $200 million.) In other words, It won’t be a very big park, and done on the cheap. From the looks of things, it’s just going to be based only on the Shire, and be divided into different areas and include “climbing walls, Hobbit homes, swings and slides.” (Sign me up when there’s an “Escape form Mordor” roller coaster or a built-to-scale Helm’s Deep.)
There’s also the problem of Warner Brothers, who own all the rights to any designs that come specifically from the movies. Considering that they might want to make their own Middle-earth theme park some day (or license the rights to Universal, like they did with Harry Potter) I could see a scenario where Warner Brother’s lawyers could stop this before it ever breaks ground. And there’s the issue of the J.R.R. Tolkien estate as well, but that’s a whole other ball of wax. The mayor of the town where this will be built, Francisco Salado, assured that all legal issues have been resolved, but I have a feeling that there will be a few more legal hoops to go through before this park sees the light of day.