While the J.R.R. Tolkien biopic, aptly named Tolkien, aims to give fans of the author and his work some insight into his formative years and inspiration for his writing, it’s also a good excuse to let Nicholas Hoult play “Young Hot Tolkien.” We got our first look at the biographical drama today thanks to Hoult’s Instagram account, which shared the first images of the cast in character. We can’t tell much about the tone of the story, but we can certainly get a glimpse of the visual palette, which feels like an old sepia-toned photo album, and the costuming, which is quite dapper, befitting the World War I-era setting.
Previous comparisons as to the tone of the biopic were made to the Oscar-winning J.M. Barrie life story, Finding Neverland and John Lee Hancock’s look at Walt Disney and P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks, though with the benefit of hindsight, Tolkien might be closer to recent biopic Goodbye Christopher Robin. That picture, which delved into dark territory at times, focused on Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne and his son, also drawing from Milne’s traumatic military experiences.
Directed by Dome Karukoski (Tom of Finland), written by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford, Tolkien is produced by Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, David Ready, and Kris Thykier, and stars Hoult, Lily Collins, Colm Meaney, Anthony Boyle, Patrick Gibson, Tom Glynn-Carney, Craig Roberts, Laura Donnelly, Genevieve O’Reilly, Pam Ferris, and Derek Jacobi. Look for the Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertainment production in theaters starting May 10th.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the “Fellowship” apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-earth novels.