New J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic Lands ‘Downton Abbey’ Director James Strong

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The Lord of the Rings has already spawned two epic film trilogies, the first in the form of Tolkien’s classic novels, and the second an extended adaptation of his first journey in Middle Earth, The Hobbit. That’s without mentioning all of the affiliated material that takes place within his mystical world, from the original novels to the chronology of The Silmarillion, to Tolkien’s own languages that he created for the many inhabitants of Middle Earth. As well known as The Lord of the Rings is to pretty much everyone these days, very few people can tell you anything about its author, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (J.R.R. Tolkien). That story, however, will soon come to light in the form of a new biopic surrounding Tolkien’s life, appropriately titled Middle Earth.

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Screenwriter Angus Fletcher penned the script after conducting personal interviews with friends and relatives, and searching through years’ worth of archive documents. The film is expected to follow Tolkien as a young Oxford scholar during the courtship of his future wife Edith Bratt. Upon the outbreak of World War I, however, Tolkien goes to fight for England, and his experiences in the war would later influence his vision of a great war involving all the forces of good joining together to defeat a one, great evil. Take the grandiosity, emotion, and scale of both World Wars and combine them with Tolkien’s vivid imagination and love of literature, and you get The Lord of the Rings. Deadline is now reporting that Downton Abbey and Broadchurch director James Strong has signed on to direct the film, which is produced by Lord of the Rings trilogy producers Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne. No word is yet available on when the film is expected for release, nor about who will portray Tolkien and Bratt. Check back later for more information!

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