The future of Middle-earth movies is looking bleak, no thanks to the ongoing conflict between Tolkein's estate and Warner Bros., New Line, and Jackson over the creative content of the movie and the financial distribution.

The whole problem mostly stems from money. Part of the author’s estate’s contract with the film studio said that a percentage of the profits from any adaptation of Tolkien’s work would go back to them.

While The LOTR trilogy made a reported $2.9 billion at the global box office, the studio claimed that the movie didn’t make a profit after deducting it from the project’s expenses, which affected how much the estate would earn.

By 2008, the Tolkiens took Warner Bros. to court over the 7.5% that they believed that they were due, but the two sides settled out of court in September 2009.

The feud grew hotter in July 2012 when the author's son, Christopher Tolkien, criticized Jackson’s adaptations in an interview with Le Monde magazine:

Jackson eventually found out about it and confirmed during a Warner Bros. panel at San Diego Comic-Con that he would not be doing an adaptation of The Silmarillion (a book that was published after Tolkien’s death which ties in together the history of Middle-earth) after the end of the Hobbit movies.

[Cinema Blend]