To quote Tolkien-hater Hugo Dyson…’Oh no! Not another fuc***g’ biopic! Clearly cashing in on the current popularity of the Hobbit trilogy, Fox Searchlight have decided to make a feature length film celebrating the life and times of John Ronald Ruel Tolkien. Apparently the focus will be on his early life, especially the traumatic World War 1 experiences which informed and inspired much of his later work. Difficulties may arise early on in production if the film makers fail to get the Tolkien family on board; several years ago there was a project named Mirkwood which planned to document J.R.R’s spate of top-secret code breaking during World War 2, but the family shot it down with elf-like speed.
Whoever ends up making the film (known only as Tolkien for the time being) will be forced to work closely with his descendants, all of whom will be keen to avoid any inaccuracies or ‘exploitations’. Tolkien’s offspring have vocalised their disdain for Warner Bros/MGM’s alterations to his body of work (see: http://www.worldcrunch.com/culture-society/my-father-039-s-quot-eviscerated-quot-work-son-of-hobbit-scribe-j.r.r.-tolkien-finally-speaks-out/hobbit-silmarillion-lord-of-rings/c3s10299/#.Upd9bBv6FZ0 or: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2236141/Tolkien-family-sues-The-Hobbit-movie-makers-80m.html) and with that in mind, it will be interesting to see how they feel about the dramatisation and characterisation of the man himself.
Hopefully, Tolkien will be an insightful and respectful character study of one of the best loved novelists of our time. Perhaps it will even shed some light on his legendary booze ups with fellow ‘Inkling’ C.S Lewis or better yet his undying love for mushrooms and pipe weed.
Feel free to comment on who you want/think could play him..I’m going Jim Broadbent.
Also, I wonder what Tolkien would have to say about all this- his son reckons he wouldn’t even have liked the films of the books, so how would he react to a film about the guy who wrote the books which have been made into films (him)?