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Makers of Tolkien biopic say movie is full of 'respect and admiration' after estate disavows it

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins in Tolkien (Credit: Fox Searchlight)

The makers of the new biopic of J.R.R Tolkien have hit back after the Lord of the Rings writer’s estate distanced itself from the production.

In a statement, Fox Searchlight said that the studio is ‘so proud of Dome Karukoski’s film which focuses on the early years of Tolkien’s extraordinary life and does not depict subject matter from his novels’.

“While we did not work with the Tolkien estate on this project, the film-making team has the utmost respect and admiration for Mr Tolkien and his phenomenal contribution to literature,” it added.

Read more: Tolkien estate rejects new biopic

The statement followed one from the Tolkien estate yesterday rejecting the film, which stars British actor Nicholas Hoult as the author, and Lily Collins as Edith Bratt, who would become Tolkien’s wife and his creative muse.

(Credit: Fox Searchlight)

“The family of JRR Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate are aware of the Fox Searchlight motion picture entitled Tolkien that is due for release in May 2019,” it said.

“The family and the Estate wish to make clear that they did not approve of, authorise or participate in the making of this film.

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“They do not endorse it or its content in any way.”

The statement followed recent teaser footage from the movie, which is helmed by Finnish director Thomas ‘Dome’ Karukoski, from a screenplay by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford, who wrote the 2014 film Pride, about the lesbian and gay activists who joined the miners’ strike in the 80s.


It finds Tolkien as a young man, part of a group of artists and writers whose friendship is torn apart by World War I.

Also starring Colm Meaney, Sir Derek Jackobi, Anthony Boyle, Tom Glynn-Carney and Pam Ferris, it’s set to hit screens on May 10.