The Hollywood producer who owns the rights to The Lord Of The Rings books has been paid $168 million (GBP94 million) by the company behind Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning trilogy - despite never working on any of the hit movies.

Saul Zaentz, 84, secured the rights to the JRR TOLKIEN's books in 1976, and production company New Line made the big money payout after Jackson's trilogy made a staggering $2.9 billion (GBP1.6 billion).

Zaentz sued New Line for a further $20 million (GBP11 million) after he said they based his share of royalties from foreign distributors on net income rather then from the gross profits.

New Lines are still facing a legal challenge from the trilogy's OSCAR-winning director PETER JACKSON, who says the company withheld his share of profits from the first film.