From Tolkien Gateway
Saul Zaentz (12 February, 1921-3 January, 2014) was an American film producer. He was the founder of the Saul Zaentz Company. Middle-earth Enterprises, that owns the worldwide film, stage, and merchandise rights to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, until 2022, was a division of the Saul Zaentz Company and it was too created by Zaentz.He acquired the film, stage, and merchandise rights of these two books from United Artists in 1976.
He was credited as the producer of The Lord of the Rings (1978 film).