This review of the movie Willow, which was produced by George Lucas, claims:
George Lucas was desperately attempting to secure the rights to the Lord of the Rings series and its prequel, The Hobbit, for years and hoped to make it his next epic series post-STAR WARS.
This page on Willow computer games makes the same claim:
It should also be noted that Willow was originally intended to be a film adaptation of The Hobbit, but George Lucas could not procure the rights to the Tolkien franchises.
The Wikipedia page on Willow also used to say:
Lucas was originally going to do a film of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit. But he was unable to get the rights.
But this has since been edited out because no source was provided.
- Did George Lucas once try to acquire the rights to The Lord of the Rings and/or The Hobbit,
or is this an unfounded rumour?