Asylum's (Alleged) Bootleg 'Hobbit' Film Temporarily Blocked By California Judge

It's just not a blockbuster movie release without a competing "mockbuster" from The Asylum. Unfortunately for The Asylum, California federal judge Philip Gutierrez ruled that the studio's latest, "Age Of The Hobbits" was an infringement on MGM/Warner Brothers' copyright for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" which hits theaters this week.

The Asylum's beautifully designed defense was essentially, "no, we don't mean those Hobbits, we mean those other Hobbits," referring to the nickname given by scientists to Homo Floresiensis, a now-extinct people discovered in Indonesia in 2003. "Age of the Hobbits" was set for releases today on DVD and Blu-ray, but with Judge Gutierrez's ruling places a temporary restraining order on the release, which will be reconsidered in a hearing scheduled for January 28th.

If you're not familiar with The Asylum's release strategy, it's to produce and distribute movies whose titles sound suspiciously like their big-budget counterparts being released the same week. See if you can guess the movie they're lifting from: "Transmorphers," "The Day The Earth Stopped," "Almighty Thor," "I Am Omega." The studio got its start back in 1997, but didn't really kick into its current business model until 2005 with their release of "The War Of the Worlds."

Asylum's "Age of the Hobbits" features "Stargate SG-1" actor Christopher Judge and "Crank 2"/"The Crow" actress Bai Ling in what Asylum describes as the story of peace-loving Hobbits being attacked and enslaved by Komodo dragon-worshiping/riding cannibals called Javas. Actor Sun Gorg's character Goben must team up with a group of humans to rescue the surviving Hobbits from the Javas. Interestingly, director Joseph J. Lawson is credited as a digital artist on 2003's "Return of the King."

[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]