I recently got an e-mail from Conlan Press, publishers of Peter S. Beagle’s recent works that had some welcome news: Granada Media, the company that owns the animated movie of The Last Unicorn, has come to an agreement with Beagle to pay him the years of back royalties he has been owed, and to cooperate with Beagle and Conlan on future Last Unicorn-related opportunities.

Beagle and Connor Cochran of Conlan had been preparing to take Granada to court, when Connor noticed a change in corporate management that suggested a new tack for negotiation.

All along, Peter and Connor had known that Granada Media was a subsidiary of a much bigger company — a huge European media conglomerate called ITV. What Connor noticed was that ITV had recently gotten a new CEO, a man named Adam Crozier, who came in from outside the company and had a mandate to pretty much completely clean house: get rid of things that weren’t working, make marginal properties more profitable, etc. To put it bluntly, this new CEO had no reason to cover up for anyone’s past bad judgment or mistakes and every incentive to make good new business happen. So, after some internal discussion, Connor sent a letter directly to Adam Crozier himself. The person at ITV who was tasked with responding was the company’s Group Legal Director and Corporate Secretary, Andrew Garard. Andrew really took the situation seriously. He dug in, did his research, met with Peter and Connor and [attorney] Richard Mooney in New York City last November, and ultimately came to the conclusion that we were was right — (a) Peter wasn’t getting his due, and (b) if we stopped fighting and started working together, The Last Unicorn could be even more successful than it already was. Settlement details were worked out at a second meeting, this time in Los Angeles, and finally, last August, the settlement paperwork was signed.

As a result, Beagle will receive royalties on the movie and merchandise going forward, and will also receive a series of payments to make up what he has been owed for years.

And now that the royalty matters have been settled, both parties are moving forward with some new Last Unicorn-related promotions and opportunities. There will be a series of 80 theatrical screenings of the movie from 2012 to 2013, and a new forthcoming $5 million “renovation” of the movie will add new footage and special effects, background paintings, and soundtrack material—and will also include both 2D and 3D releases.

Still no word on whether this will mean an official The Last Unicorn e-book release, however.


  1. The Last Unicorn is a brilliant movie, one of those you can see over and over and enjoy each time. Besides that, it can be enjoyed on different levels depending on the age of the viewer. Also, adults will recognize subtle humor in the dialog which will go right over the head of a 4-year old. But the child will love it on his own level. It’s one of my favorites and I’m glad that Mr. Beagle will be getting the royalties due to him.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail newteleread@gmail.com.