Getting Into the Hobbit

Coming soon to a cell phone near you--a game based on the upcoming "Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy.

New Line Cinema, which is producing the films, has licensed the rights to make "Lord of the Rings" wireless games to Riot Entertainment Ltd., a Finnish company backed by Nokia Ventures and Softbank Inc. Starting this fall, players can pay a monthly fee to their cell phone carriers, which will be offering the role-playing adventure game as an add-on service.

The first film in the series, "The Fellowship of the Rings," is set to open in December, followed by "The Two Towers" in 2002 and "Return of the King" in 2003. Although cell phone games are popular in Japan and some European countries, primarily Finland, they have yet to take hold in the United States.

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