tolkien estate

Update: Fox Searchlight has released a statement in response to the Tolkien estate not endorsing the film. Read it below.

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and his seminal work The Lord of the Rings might be soon lining up to see Nicholas Hoult play the young, hot version of him in Fox Searchlight’s upcoming biopic, Tolkien. But one group of people that won’t be in line are Tolkien’s family and the Tolkien estate, which have released a statement saying that they do not endorse the film.

The Tolkien estate has released a statement clarifying that they “do not endorse [Tolkien] or its content in any way,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the J.R.R. Tolkien family and the Tolkien estate said they wished to “make clear that they did not approve of, authorize or participate in the making” of the film, which stars Hoult as Tolkien during the “formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.” Directed by Dome Karukoski with a screenplay by David GleesonTolkien recounts the early years of Tolkien’s life through Oxford College and through his experiences in World War I.

A representative of the family confirmed that Tolkien’s family have yet to see Tolkien, and that the statement wasn’t referring to any particular scene or element in the story, but generally following the estate’s approach to biopics in the past.

Still, it’s no surprise that Tolkien’s family would be protective of his legacy. While Tolkien injected many of his own life experiences and elements of his family into his books (his wife was famously the inspiration for the romance Beren and Lúthien, which the film supposedly touches on), they have been largely private. His children were even upset at Tolkien’s initial publishing of The Hobbit, which had until then been exclusively their bedtime story.

But while it’s still too soon to see whether Tolkien will make any egregious dramatic departures from Tolkien’s actual life, I will say that there is one thing I’m disappointed in: Hoult’s lack of Tolkien’s signature glorious mustache.

Update: Fox Searchlight has released a statement in response to the Tolkien estate’s refusal of its endorsement, stating that “the filmmaking team has the utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Tolkien and his phenomenal contribution to literature.” Read the statement below:

“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.”

Tolkien hits theaters on May 10, 2019.

As a young student, J.R.R. Tolkien finds love, friendship and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts. These early life experiences soon inspire Tolkien to write the classic fantasy novels “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.”

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