J.R.R. Tolkien, the mastermind behind the epic Middle-earth stories like "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings", will become the subject of a feature film. His life story will be adapted to the big screen under the project tentatively titled "Tolkien".
According to LA Times, the upcoming biopic "will examine the author's life, particularly his formative years at Pembroke College and as a soldier in World War I, and how it influenced him and his work."
Tolkien scholar and superfan, David Gleeson ("Cowboys & Angels"), is working on the script. The movie is set up at Fox Searchlight and produced by Peter Chernin of Chernin Entertainment ("The Heat", "Rise of the Planet of the Apes").
There have been previous attempts to make a biopic about Tolkien, but they fell apart. "Mirkwood", a fantastical look at his work as a codebreaker during the Great War, was disapproved by the late writer's estate. It's unclear if this new project has been greenlit by the estate or not.
The biopic brings comparison to 2004's "Finding Neverland" about "Peter Pan" author J.M. Barrie, and upcoming "Saving Mr. Banks" about "Mary Poppins" author P.L. Travers and Disney's effort to turn her story into a movie. The former was nominated for Best Picture at Academy Awards, and the latter draws Oscar buzz ahead of its December release.