Before J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” and George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”, there was one dominant fantasy series that dominated the world of literature – J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. Even to this day Tolkien’s story set in Middle-Earth is popular among readers, and viewers as well having been adapted for the screen.
Now the author himself will appear on the big screen in Tolkien, which will look at at the novelist’s early years as an orphan, a student in Birmingham and Oxford, and at the Battle of the Somme during the first World War. Tolkien will be portrayed by Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite, Mad Max: Fury Road), “We wanted to honor him and tell our story that we thought was fascinating about his formative years that everyone, I feel as a fan, would be intrigued by.”
Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror, The Blind Side) plays Edith Bart, Tolkien’s future wife whom he met when he moved into a boarding house. Bratt would become Tolkien’s inspiration for one of his characters, the elf Luthien. “We show her dancing in the forest and…her cheekiness and her love of storytelling and the way that she just would inspire him to continue telling stories,” said Collins.
Tolkien, who was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, published “The Hobbit” in 1937. His most well-known creation “The Lord of the Rings” came out in three parts between 1954 and 1955. Since then over 150 million copies have been sold worldwide, and the film adaptations have a combined global box office gross of $5.8 billion (Php 302 billion).
The writer passed away in 1973 at the age of 81, two years after Bratt. Tolkien’s family and estate said in a statement “they did not approve of, authorize or participate in the making of [Tolkien] and do not endorse it or its content in any way”, thus distancing themselves from the film.
Producers Fox Searchlight said it was “proud” of the movie and “the filmmaking team has the utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Tolkien and his phenomenal contribution to literature”. Director Dome Karukoski expressed hope Tolkien’s family would see the film, “I’ve actually offered to watch it with them so they would see it and it’s done with the respect, admiration as from a fan.”
Tolkien hits theaters this May. Story from Reuters.
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