The life of fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien will be the subject of an upcoming movie, giving fans a glimpse into the mind that imagined the wonderfully complex fictional worlds of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the biopic will look at the late British writer’s life story and how it influenced his work, with a focus on his time at Oxford’s Pembroke College and fighting in World War I, where he saw most of his friends die in battle. Both experiences are said to have been formative influences on Tolkien’s fiction.
It may be a while before the movie hits theaters, however. The script for the biopic, which is currently being developed by Fox Searchlight and investor Peter Chernin’s production company, Chernin Entertainment, is reportedly still in the works by Irish screenwriter-director and Tolkien fan David Gleeson.
The film’s working title is simply “Tolkien,” per the LA Times.
Tolkien was born in South Africa in 1892 and experienced the death of both his parents before he turned 13. He was a lieutenant in the English army during World War I, and wrote The Hobbit and the first two books of The Lord Of The Ringswhile on a fellowship at Pembroke College in Oxford after the war. Tolkien wastrained by the British government to be a spy and Nazi codebreaker in the run-up to World War II, but he never actually served. He died at age 81 in Bournemouth, England, in 1973.