Nicholas Hoult as JRR Tolkien in Tolkien

Nicholas Hoult Plays Young J.R.R. Tolkien in a New Biopic About the Author’s Life

The film will focus on Tolkien's relationship with his wife Edith and his experiences as a soldier in World War I.

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2019 is already stacked with several highly anticipated films, but LOTR fans will want to keep a close eye on Tolkien, the upcoming biopic about the beloved The Lord of the Rings author. The film stars Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class, The Favourite) as Tolkien and Lily Collins (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) as his wife and inspiration Edith Bratt.

The film is directed by Dome Karukoski (Tom of Finland) and the synopsis for the film reads, “Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow 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.”

Tolkien (known as Ronald) and Bratt’s love story is truly epic and romantic. He was an orphan, who had lost his father at the age of three and his mother at 12. From then on, Tolkien was raised by a close family friend, Catholic priest Father Francis Xavier Morgan. At 16, he fell in love with the 19-year-old Edith, who was a Protestant. Edith was also an orphan, and they used to spend time together “visiting tea shops and throwing sugar-cubes into the hats of passers-by,” which is the cutest thing I’ve ever heard.

Father Morgan disapproved of the relationship, and blamed Edith for Ronald’s poor academic performance. He subsequently banned Ronald from seeing Edith until he was 21. Ronald then spent three years pining for Edith until he turned 21, at which point he reestablished contact. Edith was already engaged to another man, but she ended up breaking off the engagement and agreed to marry Tolkien and convert to Catholicism.

The Tolkiens went on to have four children and were married for 55 years until Edith’s death in 1971. Tolkien frequently referred to his wife as his muse, and said that she inspired his characters Lúthien Tinúviel and Arwen Evenstar. On their gravestones are carved the names Lúthien and Beren, the beautiful Elven princess who trades her immortality for her mortal lover, as told in Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.

Their romance is cinematic and sweeping, and Tolkien promises to be a period love story and a moving drama. The film is set to premiere in May, 2019.

(via Deadline, The Vintage News, image: IFC Films)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.