Fox Searchlight Developing J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic Titled Simply 'Tolkien'

November 21, 2013
Source: LA Times

J.R.R. Tolkien

In a house on the street in England there lived a Tolkien. With two more Hobbit movies due out this year and next, we're getting back into the excitement of J.R.R. Tolkien mania again. To go along with all the buzz for The Hobbit, our friends at the LA Times are reporting that Fox Searchlight is developing a biopic project about the legendary British author. The indie movie studio has David Gleeson, a "Tolkien superfan and scholar of sorts about the Middle-earth creator", writing the script with Peter Chernin and his company Chernin Entertainment (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Oblivion, The Heat) producing. This should do well.

Tolkien, the author of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Beowulf and The Silmarillion, passed away in 1973 at the age of 81. Born in South Africa in 1892 and raised in England, Tolkien went on to serve in the Great War (WWI), where many of his closest friends were killed in combat. That experience affected him deeply and influenced his writing early on in his career. The biopic is tentatively titled Tolkien, which is fitting and perfect enough, though that could change. The story will examine the author's life, particularly his formative years at Pembroke College and as a soldier in World War I, and how it influenced him and his work. We'll keep watch on development from here, as we're big Tolkien fans of our own. Let's hope this turns out good.

Art at the top comes from a painting of Tolkien by Donato Giancola found via

Find more posts: Development, Indies, Movie News



"The biopic is tentatively titled Tolkien, which is fitting..." Maybe it's just me, but I got a chuckle out of this. In other news, oranges are orange and flies can fly. But seriously, this could be a fascinating movie if done correctly as he led quite the life, not least of all in his younger years. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

Wafffles on Nov 21, 2013


Man Id love to see Tolkien's time in WWI... Def keeping an eye out for this project!

LosZombies on Nov 21, 2013


This certainly has the ability to be a tremendous film about one of the most, if the THE most, influencial fantasy writers of all time. Capturing his life, as one poster says, during WWI is essential to understanding the man. If that is treated as a mere moment in the film, then in my humble opinion the film will not have done justice to his journey towards writing about Middle Earth.

Quanah on Nov 22, 2013


Tolkien did not write Beowulf, it's estimated to have been written between the 8th and 11th centuries. He did give a lecture that was put into a book on literary criticism of the poem. I'm a huge Tolkien fan and can't wait for this!

Peter on Nov 24, 2013

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