Saturday, 26 July 2014

Battle of the Tolkien biopics heats up

His books remain immensely popular even to this day, even without the massive film trilogies they spawned. And interest in Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien appears to be just as fervent, at least among film companies looking to make the definitive biopic. Fox Searchlight is already developing one project and now here comes director Simon West (The Mechanic) with another, Tolkien & Lewis.

Unlike the Fox Searchlight project, this one boasts the extra hook of Tolkien's friendship with Chronicles Of Narnia creator C.S. Lewis. Attractive Films is backing this one, which focuses on Tolkien's involvement in his Oxford colleague's conversion to Christianity, which had a profound effect on his writing. In turn, Lewis encourages Tolkien to finish The Lord Of The Rings.

But their close friendship ends up marred by jealousy, paranoia and religious differences, with Tolkien upset when Lewis becomes seen as the leading light in Christian literature and because his friend adopted Anglicanism rather than Tolkien's own Catholicism.

The company wants the movie ready before Searchlight can hit cinemas, aiming at an Easter release to better target Christian filmgoers. As always, watch this space.

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