Actor Nicholas Hoult is in early talks to play legendary fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien in new biopic Tolkien, which will tell the story of the formative years of Tolkien's life - years filled with friendship, love and war that inspired him to write his famous The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and other Middle-earth stories that were eventually transformed into the epic Peter Jackson film trilogies.
Tolkien's own life story very much inspired his writing, especially with respect to The Lord of the Rings. Much like the adventures of the hobbits-turned-heroes Frodo, Samwise, Pippin and Merry - Tolkien also was part of a group of lifelong friends, including Rob Gilson, Geoffrey Bache Smith and Christopher Wiseman, while he attended the King Edward's School. The group formed a semi-secret society they called the Tea Club and Barrovian Society (T.C.B.S.) and stayed in touch after leaving school. Unfortunately, war ultimately tore this "fellowship" apart, greatly affecting Tolkien afterwards.
According to an exclusive report on Deadline, Hoult is in early talks to portray the young Tolkien in the film. Tolkien will explore the author's life both during his time at school and on the battlefields of World War I, which is said to be where the idea for The Lord of the Rings and Middle-earth was born - straight from the grueling trenches. Here is the description of the film provided by Deadline:
"The script by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford 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."
Hoult, who does bare some resemblance to the young Tolkien, first came into the acting scene in 1996 with Intimate Relations. He has since become know for playing Beast (Henry Philip "Hank" McCoy) in X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse and the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix. He also starred in Warm Bodies as the zombie R, Jack in the reimagining of Jack the Giant Slayer and received critical acclaim for his role as Nux in 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road. While it hasn't been confirmed that Hoult will be stepping into the shoes of the famed fantasy writer, one imagines he could easily transform into the young Tolkien - considering he has garnered acclaim for his past roles, all of which are vastly different from one another (ranging from lovable zombies to wild war boys).
Tolkien has also found its director, in the form of Finnish filmmaker Dome Karukoski - best known for titles like Lapland Odyssey, Heart of a Lion and The Grump. Chernin Entertainment is producing the project for Fox Searchlight.
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