J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic on Life of 'Lord of Rings' Author Is in Works

Image: J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic on Life of 'Lord of Rings' Author Is in Works

Monday, 25 Nov 2013 08:46 AM

By Ken Mandel

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J.R.R. Tolkien, the author behind the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, will now have his own story told in an upcoming biopic.

Fox Searchlight is creating a film about Tolkien that will detail the Middle Earth creator's time at Pembrooke College and his time as a soldier in World War I. It will also reveal what inspired him to write "The Hobbit" and the "Lord of the Rings" books, according to BBC News.

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The screenplay will be written by Irish-born David Gleeson, a self-proclaimed Tolkien "super fan" who has worked on "Cowboys and Angels" and 'The Front Line," according to IFTN.com.

The studio produced last year's Hitchcock film, starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren.

The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy has been long-revered by fantasy-fiction fans. The films, which consisted of "The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)," "The Two Towers (2002)" and "The Return of the King (2003)," did extremely well at the box office.

The story follows hobbit Frodo Baggins, played by Elijah Wood in the movies, and his friends on a quest to destroy the One Ring and its maker, the Dark Lord Sauron.

Peter Jackson, who directed the "LOTR" trilogy, also directed a series of films based on Tolkien's 1937 book, "The Hobbit." The second chapter of that trilogy, "The Desolation of Smaug," is scheduled to be released Dec. 13. 

According to BBC, the biopic will also explore Tolkien's friendship with "Chronicles of Narnia" author CS Lewis. The two studied together at university and were part of the writing group The Inklings.

Born in South Africa in 1892 and raised in England, Tolkien lost many close friends in World War I and was deeply affected by that experience.

Several failed attempts to depict Tolkien's life have emerged in recent years, including "Mirkwood," which explored his work as a WWII code breaker. That project was shelved in part due to resistance from Tolkien's estate.

Last November, the estate sued Warner Bros. for $80 million, seeking damages from "unauthorized merchandising." The studio countersued in July, claiming that the Tolkien suit caused it to miss out on several millions of dollars of licensing revenue, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

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