J.R.R. Tolkien's Family Did Not Authorize Fox Searchlight's Biopic

Hoult Tolkien

UPDATE: Fox Searchlight Pictures, which is releasing Tolkien, has provided CBR with the following statement: “We are so proud of Dome Karukoski’s film TOLKIEN which focuses on the early years of J.R.R. 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 filmmaking team has the utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Tolkien and his phenomenal contribution to literature.” The original article follows below.

Tolkien is set to release in May, and while many are excited about the biopic of the famous author's life, members of J.R.R. Tolkien's family made sure to let everyone know it doesn't approve of the film.

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In a statement, as revealed by The Hollywood Reporter, the Tolkien family wanted to "make clear that they did not approve of, authorize or participate in the making," adding, “they do not endorse it or its content in any way."

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According to the same article, the Tolkien family hasn't seen the film and has been approached for biopics in the past but never given approval. The Tolkien estate has always been protective of the author's legacy, even taking legal action over a book called Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien.

Tolkien will release through Fox Searchlight and is the first film from the company to be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It will showcase the author's early life as an English professor, as well as his time spent serving during World War I.

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Directed by Dome Karukoski, Tolkien stars Nicholas Hoult, Lilly Collins, Colm Meaney, Anthony Boyle, Patrick Gibson, Tom Glynn-Carney, Craig Roberts, Laura Donnelly, Genevieve O'Reilly, Pam Ferris and Derek Jacobi, and is set to be released on May 10.

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