The trailer for the biopic Tolkien has arrived. J.R.R. Tolkien is, of course, one of the most famous authors of the 20th century thanks to his work on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and other assorted novels about life in the fantasy realm of Middle-earth. His stories were heavily influenced by his real-life relationships and experiences, including his time fighting back in WWI. These are the same events that Tolkien - which has been in development since 2013 - will specifically focus on, as it examines the author's formative years and coming of age.
Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite) portrays Tolkien as a young adult in the film, opposite Lily Collins (The Mortal Instruments) as his lifelong love-turned wife, Edith Bratt. The movie only just got a May release date last month, followed shortly after by the first-look image of Hoult as Tolkien proper. Fox Searchlight has since taken the next step forward with its marketing by dropping an official Tolkien teaser online, ahead of its premiere in theaters in the weeks ahead.
You can watch the Tolkien teaser trailer in the space below. The preview offers a sneak peek at not only Hoult and Collins, but also their costars Anthony Boyle (Ordeal by Innocence), Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk), and Patrick Gibson (The OA) in the film. The latter three are playing Tolkien's schoolmates Geoffrey Bache Smith, Christopher Wiseman, and Robert Quilter Gilson, who became close friends with the author in college and even fought alongside him during the first world war.
Tolkien was eventually sent back to England after he contracted "trench fever" while fighting in WWI. The trailer offers a glimpse of the real-world horrors that Tolkien encounters during his time in combat (like the Battle of Somme), as well as the dark and mythical visions that he experiences upon falling sick - visions that, in some way or another, ultimately help inspire the writer to create Sauron, Mordor, and other aspects of Middle-earth. It'll certainly be interesting to see if Tolkien director Dome Karukoski (Tom of Finland) does or does not try to emulate the look and feel of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth movie trilogies in the biopic's fantasy sequences. There are certainly parallels between the films in the trailer, but it's possible the final version will end up looking substantially different by comparison.
However, while Tolkien seems more visually innovative than the average memoir, that doesn't guarantee its narrative will amount to more than a paint-by-numbers biopic about the important events that shaped its namesake. The script by Stephen Beresford (Pride) and David Gleeson (The Front Line) will no doubt touch upon the various milestones in the author's life, but the trailer suggests its aiming for something deeper than a series of references to stories about hobbits, elves, and wizards in a faraway land. Here's hoping that's the case, anyway, when Tolkien reaches theaters in May.
Source: Fox Searchlight