James Strong to direct J.R.R. Tolkien biopic

Credit: Weta

Credit: Weta

J.R.R. Tolkien is responsible for some of the most beloved novels of all time whose contents led to a multi-billion dollar movie series. Although the The Hobbit films had some problems, The Lord of the Rings is quite possibly the most successful series ever made if you take into account both ticket sales and critical reception. The man created countless races, cities, creatures, buildings and, yes, even entire languages. A man who’s responsible for all this must be a pretty interesting fellow. Former New Line Cinema’s Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne as well as Rachael Horovitz must think so too as they’re producing a biopic about the life of Tolkien with British director James Strong set to direct.

The movie, aptly titled Middle Earth, is described as an epic story about the famous fantasy author and the tumultuous events that inspired his iconic novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The story, written by Angus Fletcher who gathered materials on Tolkien through six years of archival research and personal interviews, will highlight Tolkien’s early life and love affair with future wife Edith Bratt as well as his turbulent experiences in the first World War that influenced his Middle-earth stories.

Shaye and Lynne already have experience with Middle-earth films. They notably greenlit Peter Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy while at New Line, then considered one of the biggest financial risks in movie history, which nonetheless went on to gross nearly $3 billion at the worldwide box office. As for Strong, he’s worked on such TV series as Broadchurch and Downton Abbey as well as the 2011 soccer feature United.

Looking at old photos of Tolkien, it’s hard to imagine anything riveting being produced about this old man smoking a pipe in his library. Yet, his life must’ve been exciting enough for him to come up with all the extraordinary wonders we’ve all been privileged to experience over the years. Hey, we all underestimated the little hobbits and look how that turned out.

Source: Deadline

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