"The Hobbit" was just a whimsical name for a Southampton, UK pub - until Hollywood got wind of it. A new movie is being made of J.R.R Tolkien's book, and the hapless pub owners soon found themselves in the crosshairs.
The BBC reports that the pub was first sued by the Saul Zaentz Company in March. Although the company eventually agreed to allow the pub to license the name, the suit continues to drag on - and legal fees aren't cheap.
More from GlobalPost: Peter Jackson says "The Hobbit" will be a trilogy
Actor Sir Ian McKellan, who portrayed Gandalf in the "Lord of the Rings" movies, has offered to pay for the pub's copyright license.
On his website, he scolded Middle-earth Enterprises of Los Angeles, calling the suit "unnecessary pettiness... More Alice's Wonderland than Tolkien's Middle Earth. Harrumph."
"Hobbit" movie star and internationally-renowned snark master Stephen Fry has also offered to pay the copyright license fee, says the BBC.
Peter Jackson recently announced the new "Hobbit" movie will be made into a trilogy, as the GlobalPost reported. Hopefully, the Hobbit pub will survive to see the new movie cycle begin.