J.R.R. Tolkien is set to be the subject of a movie biopic. Fox Searchlight has green-lit the production, which will revolve around Tolkien’s creation of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Peter Chernin’s Chernin Entertainment will work in conjunction with Fox Searchlight on the project.
Tolkien’s impending biopic is set to chronicle the moments in his life that shaped the writing of The Hobbit, which was released in 1937. It will then depict his scribing process for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was published between July 1954 and October 1955.
It’s also set to focus on Tolkien’s active role in World War One, which him sent to the trenches in France. Upon his departure from France, he was inspired to write the poem, The Lonely Isle. He later wrote of his war endeavors, “Junior officers were being killed off, a dozen a minute. Parting from my wife then… it was like a death.”
Tolkien was struck down with trench fever while in France, which meant that he was soon returned to England. However, many of his school friends perished in the great war, which affected the writer for the rest of his life. Tolkien later went on to work as a code breaker throughout World War Two.
It’s believed that the film will also depict his friendship with CS Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia series. The pair were pals for dozens of years until Lewis’ death in 1963 and they originally became close while serving on the English faculty at Oxford University.
Their camaraderie was such that they were both active members in the Oxford literary circle known as The Inklings, which also featured Owen Barfield and Charles Williams.
David Gleeson, an Irish writer who recently sold End Of History — a sci-fi spec screenplay — to Sony, has already begun work on the script for the project and David Ready is set to oversee the production.
It isn’t yet known if Tolkien’s estate is involved in the project. In the past, they have been extremely protective of the author’s work and name, and they have even stopped previous biopics from going into production.
The second installment of the Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, will be released on December 13. Director Peter Jackson is hoping to match the tremendous sum that previous films based on Tolkien’s books have managed to gross at the worldwide box office, which is close to $4 billion.
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