Tolkien’s life to get Hollywood treatment

The Oxford Times: Giles Ingram, of Experience Oxfordshire, pictured outside the author’s favourite pub, The Eagle and Child, says the film about Tolkien will be good for tourism Buy this photo » Giles Ingram, of Experience Oxfordshire, pictured outside the author’s favourite pub, The Eagle and Child, says the film about Tolkien will be good for tourism

HOLLYWOOD producers are working on plans for a film about the life of Hobbit author JRR Tolkien.

Fox Searchlight is planning to make a film about the life of The Lord of the Rings author that would focus on his time as a soldier during the First World War and at Oxford University.

The film will reportedly look at what Tolkien did in the years before he wrote the fantasy novels for which he is known worldwide.

The production is at an early stage, but it will be produced by Chernin Entertainment, the group behind films such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the police comedy The Heat.

The script is being written by award-winning film director David Gleeson.

The Tolkien Estate says it has not been consulted about the plan, but the news has been hailed as a further boost for Oxford’s film tourism industry.

Giles Ingram, of Experience Oxfordshire, said: “Tolkien is absolutely a big draw for people coming to Oxford.

“The interest in Tolkien and the connections through to the area for his work are absolutely enormous.

“Film tourism has been very beneficial to the city and new films help to keep interest in authors going, and bringing it to new generations.”

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Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Exeter College between 1925 and 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959.

He wrote The Hobbit and the first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings while living in Northmoor Road. He is buried in Wolvercote Cemetery with his wife Edith.

Tolkien frequented the Eagle and Child pub in St Giles with friend and Narnia author CS Lewis.

Films based on his books have grossed nearly $4bn worldwide and attracted people from across the globe to visit Oxford.

Shaun Gunner, chairman of the Tolkien Society, said the author would make a good character for a film.

He said: “I can understand the fascination with him. He is an incredibly interesting person as a character.”

Comments (2)

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10:35am Tue 3 Dec 13

Mark Faith says...

We find this little paper annoying for two reasons. One, the Tolkien Society does not speak for or represent worldwide Tolkien fans, at all! Fans today could care less about what the TS has to say about Tolkien matters, yet they are frequently mention in this paper when an article on Tolkien is published, as if they had some authority or representation? They do not. They are not official or endorsed. This aging and declining literature club does little to support and expand Tolkien fandom. Secondly, Oxford is not the physical or spiritual centre of Tolkien. Birmingham and other places he visited had more influence. Middle-earth existed in Professor Tolkien's mind, not a country. Oxford cared less about the impact of Tolkien’s work on the world in his lifetime. It’s a bit sad now to see an old town and old club grasping to try and make something that wasn’t. There is no hope this film project will be endorsed as most fans already know. If anyone deserves credit for the expansion and awareness of Tolkien’s work its Peter Jackson, although we would like to see more emphasis on reading the books and the Hobbit films being more accurate to the original work.
We find this little paper annoying for two reasons. One, the Tolkien Society does not speak for or represent worldwide Tolkien fans, at all! Fans today could care less about what the TS has to say about Tolkien matters, yet they are frequently mention in this paper when an article on Tolkien is published, as if they had some authority or representation? They do not. They are not official or endorsed. This aging and declining literature club does little to support and expand Tolkien fandom. Secondly, Oxford is not the physical or spiritual centre of Tolkien. Birmingham and other places he visited had more influence. Middle-earth existed in Professor Tolkien's mind, not a country. Oxford cared less about the impact of Tolkien’s work on the world in his lifetime. It’s a bit sad now to see an old town and old club grasping to try and make something that wasn’t. There is no hope this film project will be endorsed as most fans already know. If anyone deserves credit for the expansion and awareness of Tolkien’s work its Peter Jackson, although we would like to see more emphasis on reading the books and the Hobbit films being more accurate to the original work. Mark Faith

12:53pm Tue 3 Dec 13

King Joke says...

Presumably, because the TS is a 'literature club' they are literate enough to know the difference between 'could care less' and 'couldn't care less'.
Presumably, because the TS is a 'literature club' they are literate enough to know the difference between 'could care less' and 'couldn't care less'. King Joke

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