J.R.R. Tolkien Movie in Development

With the popularity of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy of films, along with “The Hobbit” trilogy, it seemed almost inevitable that a biop of the author of the books, J.R.R. Tolkien would be attempted.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Cherin Entertainment along with Fox Searchlight is developing the movie, based likely on a script written by Irish screenwriter David Gleeson. The movie is going to feature on key moments of Tolkien’s life that led to his writing of “The Hobbit,” a children’s book published in the 1930s and the later the sweeping epic “The Lord of the Rings” in the early 1950s that defined the genre of high fantasy ever since.

Tolkien lived an interesting life that might have made a movie even if he had not written a classic of English literature. He had a forbidden love affair as a teenager with a woman three years his senior which had, fortunately, a happy ending when they were married. He saw wartime service in the trenches of France which was truncated by illness. After the war he became an Oxford professor and, in the fullness of time, a world renowned writer of fantasy.

Clearly Tolkien’s early life greatly influenced his development of the Middle Earth mythos. He deep, abiding love for his wife Edith inspired the characters of Luthien and Beren, a female elf and male human’s whose doomed love in recorded in “The Silmarillion” and is reflected in the more familiar love story between Aragorn and Arwen in “The Lord of the Rings.” His experiences in the horrorscape that was France in World War I influenced his depiction of war and combat as well as the ruined terrain of Mordor, the abode of the evil dark lord Sauron.

“The Lord of the Rings” was published to mixed reviews, but really took off in the 1960s due to publicity surrounding a copyright dispute. The books became a favorite of the so-called counter culture and have been popular ever since. The Peter Jackson movies were smash hits in the early 21st Century, tracking the success of the books.

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