With just a few weeks to go before the film’s opening on May 10, the family of J.R.R. Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate have released a statement saying “they did not approve of, authorize or participate in the making of” Tolkien, starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins. They add that “they do not endorse it or its content in any way.”
The Tolkien Estate comprises a company which manages its publishing interests and a charitable trust which makes grants to a wide range of causes. They are involved in the development of Amazon Prime Video‘s upcoming The Lord of the Rings series.
Fox Searchlight Pictures, which is distributing the film, released their own statement in support Tolkien. “We are so proud of Dome Karukoski’s film Tolkien which focuses on the early years of J.R.R. Tolkien’s extraordinary life and does not depict subject matter from his novels,” the studio said. “While we did not work with the Tolkien Estate on this project, the filmmaking team has the utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Tolkien and his phenomenal contribution to literature.”
Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the “fellowship” apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-earth novels.
Nicholas Hoult (X-Men films, Mad Max: Fury Road) is J.R.R. Tolkien, writer of such classic works as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, with Lily Collins as his wife Edith. Directed by Dome Karukoski (Tom of Finland), Tolkien is written by David Gleeson (Cowboys and Angels) and Stephen Beresford (Pride).
The film also stars Colm Meaney, Craig Roberts, Anthony Boyle, Patrick Gibson, Tom Glynn-Carney, Genevieve O’Reilly, Laura Donnelly, Pam Ferris, and Derek Jacobi. The producers are Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and David Ready of Chernin Entertainment, along with Kris Thykier of Archery Pictures.