Are you a “Lord of the Rings” fan wondering where writer J.R.R. Tolkien found the inspiration to come up with Frodo, Sauron, and the entirety of Middle Earth? If you answered yes, then Fox Searchlight’s upcoming biographical drama “Tolkien” is the movie to see this summer movie season. Giving the “Rings” author the “Finding Neverland” and “Goodbye Christopher Robin” treatment, “Tolkien” looks at the life of the writer before he created Middle Earth.
The official synopsis from Fox Searchlight reads: “‘Tolkien’ explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the ‘fellowship’ apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novels.”
“Tolkien” is directed by Finnish filmmaker Dome Karukoski, best known stateside for his biopic “Tom of Finland” about the homoerotic artist Touko Laaksonen. “Finland” was selected as the official Finnish entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 2018 Academy Awards but was not nominated. Based on the official trailer below, Karukoski is clearly tapping into Tolkien’s time in the military and creating visual parallels between Middle Earth and the battlefields of World War I.
Starring in the title role is Nicholas Hoult, whose latest X-Men movie “Dark Phoenix” will open just a few weeks after “Tolkien.” The actor earned some of the strongest reviews of his career last year for his supporting turn in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite,” which finished awards season with 10 Academy Awards and a Best Actress Oscar win for Olivia Colman. Lily Collins stars opposite Hoult as Edith Bratt, Tolkien’s lifelong love and the inspiration behind many characters in his books.
Fox Searchlight will open “Tolkien” in select theaters beginning May 10. Watch the first official trailer below.