J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic Eyeing 'X-Men' Star Nicholas Hoult for Lead Role

The Beast of the 'X-Men' movie series is the frontrunner to play the author of 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' in a new biopic called 'Tolkien'.

AceShowbiz - Nicholas Hoult is in talks to play a young J.R.R. Tolkien in a new biopic. Though the negotiations are still in early stages, the "X-Men: Apocalypse" actor is the frontrunner to portray the author of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" in the biopic called "Tolkien", according to Deadline.

Finnish director Dome Karukoski ("The Home of Dark Butterflies") has been set to helm the biopic, with Chernin Entertainment producing for Fox Searchlight. David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford are on board to pen the script.

The biopic is said to focus on the famed English writer as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of classmates before the outbreak of WWI in 1914. Tolkien served in the British armed forces from 1916 to 1920, before writing his two novels while working at Pembroke College. He died in 1973.

"The Hobbit" was published in 1937 and "The Lord of the Rings" in 1954 and 1955, in three parts. "The Lord of the Rings" was written between 1937 and 1949 and is one of the best-selling novels of all time. The Middle-earth epic novels served as the basis of the Peter Jackson-directed film trilogies "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit".

Meanwhile, Hoult can next be seen as American author J.D. Salinger in "Rebel in the Rye", set to be released in U.S. theaters on September 15, and as Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla in "The Current War", scheduled for a December 22 release. He will reprise his role as The Beast in "X-Men: Dark Phoenix", which is due out next year on November 2.

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