Fox Searchlight announced today that Tolkien, a film exploring the life of Middle-earth creator J.R.R. Tolkien, will debut in May.
Starring Nicholas Holt, Lily Collins, Colm Meaney and Derek Jacobi focuses in on the young linguist’s days at school. Orphaned as a youngster, he managed to find a group to connect with; a group eventually known as the Tea Club and Barrovian Society. And as he and his mates make their way to the trenches of World War I, Tolkien begins his great work. Sadly, the bonds of fellowship he forged threaten to break.
And at this point, it is sort of surprising no one thought to make a Tolkien biopic sooner — though it is one of two upcoming projects about his life. It may have something to do with the First World War, which is a conflict ill-suited for easy explanation in a film. Or maybe it just took all this time to find the right way to present this material. Tolkien famously began devising the world of Middle-earth while in the trenches. A shocking amount of that material survived subsequent revisions as his life took him from the war to Oxford, where his mythology supported his interest in devising new languages and creating a distinctly English mythology. And as a fan of his work, I will have to see this film.
Tolkien opens on May 10th.