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article imageJ.R.R. Tolkien biopic in the works

By Chanah Rubenstein     Nov 23, 2013 in Entertainment
With mere weeks until 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' is set to hit theatres, it is being reported that a biopic on the father of Middle Earth, J.R.R. Tolkien, is currently being composed.
The biopic, tentatively titled Tolkien, is currently being scripted by David Gleeson (Cowboys and Angels, The Front Line) and set to be produced by Chernin Entertainment (The Heat, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) at Fox Searchlight, reports The LA Times.
While still in the early stages, there is no proposed release date and there are many obstacles to get through before Tolkien fans can get a theatrical glimpse of the creator of Middle Earth. Previous attempts at creating a biopic on Tolkien have been stalled or cut short by the Tolkien estate. As of yet, there is no word as to whether the Tolkien estate supports this new project.
The Guardian points out that this planned biopic could also face troubles from rival studios, Warner Bros and MGM, who have been behind Peter Jackson’s highly successful films based on Tolkien’s works: The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the three part installment of The Hobbit. Altogether, Jackson’s adaptations have grossed nearly $4 billion, reports Business Mirror.
Gleeson’s intended biopic will focus on Tolkien’s life prior to creating Middle Earth; his academics at Pembroke College, Oxford, his service during WWI, and as a code breaker during WWII. The Telegraph also reports it will cover his friendship with fellow writer, and creator of The Chronicles of Narnia, C S Lewis. A previous attempt at creating a Hollywood story of Tolkien, Mirkwood, focused on his life as a code breaker, but was sidelined by the Tolkien estate.
With a wider scope on Tolkien’s life and the struggles that brought about the creation of a world of hobbits, orcs, and elves, along with a growing fan base due to Peter Jackson’s successful films, there is little question as to why there is a renewed attempt at a Hollywood-ized depiction of Tolkien.
There have been other biographical films based on famed writers that distinguished relative success. In 2004 Finding Neverland, a biopic on Peter Pan creator, JM Barrie, saw great success and earned an Oscar nomination, reports The Guardian. On December 13, Saving Mr. Banks, a cinematic story starring Emma Thompson as PL Travers, the creator of Mary Poppins, will compete with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in theatres.
If this project goes ahead without interference, the next big question will be: who will play a young J.R.R. Tolkien?
More about j r r tolkien, The hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, david gleeson
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