J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic Secures Tom of Finland Director, With Nicholas Hoult in Talks to Star

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News about the J.R.R. Tolkien biopic, which promises to take an intimate look at the mind that brought us The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, has emerged giving us a closer look at how this film will unfold.

Syfy Wire reports the Finnish director Dome Karukoski will be directing the film. Highly acclaimed in Finland, Kaurkoski’s previous films include Beauty and the Bastard, Heart of a Lion, and the recent biopic about iconic gay illustrator Tom of Finland.

The project, which has been in the works since 2013, was written by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford. The film “explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a fellow group of outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the ‘fellowship’ apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels.”

Syfy points out that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were penned in the 1930s and 40s, so it’s unclear whether the film will dive into Tolkien writing these specific stories, or instead focus on the inspirational elements during the war. His years past WWI, which include not just those books but other instances like the author’s pioneering writing on Beowulf and friendship with C.S. Lewis among the Inklings would be fascinating to see onscreen. Either way, I’m excited for a thoughtful and personal look at the writer.

It’s also been reported that Nicholas Hoult is the frontrunner to play young Tolkien, as the filmmakers “sparked to Hoult’s performance in the Yorgus Lanthimos-directed The Favorite.” Hoult, who’s recently worked on Rebel in the Rye, a J.D. Salinger biopic about the young writer during World War II as well as The Current War where he portrays Nikola Tesla, would definitely in his element for dramatic history.

What do you think about the team so far? It’s hard to think of a single person to capture the magic of Tolkien’s mind, but do you think Hoult can do him justice?

(image IFC Films)

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