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The Lord of the Rings happened to me when I was fifteen. A friend convinced me to read the books and as a result I fell into a dark, bottomless abyss of nerddom. I already had glasses, braces, and frizzy hair-an unhealthy obsession with Middle Earth seemed like the next logical step, right? And boy howdy, I gave 110% to that obsession. I straight up don’t remember high school. I only remember reading and re-reading the books. And then reading all of Tolkien’s super obscure unfinished books. Then watching the movies hundreds of times. I studied elvish, and practiced writing my name in elvish script. My bedroom was decorated with HELLA tasteful LOTR wallpaper. (Why yes, I was single all through high school. Why do you ask?) So you can imagine my squealing, fan-girly delight when I heard that not one but TWO Tolkien biopics were in the works.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien led a surprisingly interesting life. Ya know, for a quiet, intellectual guy who fought in WWI and taught at Oxford and invented several complete languages in his spare time. Each biopic will cover a slightly different aspect and time period of his life. I’m pretty sure I’ll see both of them at least a dozen times.
Nicholas Hoult will be playing young Tolkien and the film will explore the writer’s early adulthood. It will focus on the close-knit band of artistic friends Tolkien had at school and their horrific experiences in WWI; experiences that would heavily influence his later writings.
Lily Collins has also been cast as Tolkien’s love interest and eventual wife Edith Bratt. The two fell in love as teenagers, but Tolkien was forbidden from seeing or contacting her until his 21st birthday in order to focus on his education. An impassioned, albeit obedient, romantic, he wrote her a letter proposing marriage at precisely midnight on his 21st birthday. Edith was already engaged, but she broke it off in a hot minute after receiving his letter #boybye
This film is rumored to concentrate more on the relationship between Tolkien and Edith. Tolkien may look like a dusty, stoic old British professor, but homeboy had serious lady game. He had a deep appreciation and respect for women. His novels are full of wise, fierce, and strong female characters who continually come to the rescue of the male heroes. Tolkien’s unfinished novel Beren and Luthien is one of the most epic love sagas I’ve ever read, despite only existing in pieces and rough drafts. And the hero of that story is, wait for it, THE WOMAN. Tolkien was deeply in love with his wife, and freely admitted that she was his inspiration for the character of Luthien. I’m hopeful that this could end up an excellent film about their life-long love story, and who doesn’t love a great early-20th-Century British love story? FASCISTS. That’s who.
Not much is known about the film, other than that it’s being made by New Line Cinema, the same production company that made the LOTR and Hobbit movies. This leads me to conclude that they’ve been sitting on their bums, waiting for me to fantasy cast. HERE YA GO, NEW LINE. You’re welcome.
As hot as I find Tom as a scheming, narcissistic Norse god of mischief, the image of him as a pipe-smoking, poetry-writing, tweed-wearing Oxford professor is outrageously appealing. There’s not a lot of dudes that could make translating Beowulf from Old English into Modern English look sexy, but something tells me Tomsy is up to the challenge.
Here’s my reasoning: Liv Tyler played Arwen in The Lord of the Rings ->Arwen was purported to be the living reincarnation of Luthien ->Luthien was specifically based on Edith Tolkien. FULL CIRCLE. The symmetry is beautiful, people. It needs to happen.
I’ll leave you with this stupidly adorable collage of Tolkien and Edith. Piss off, sassy toddlers and baby goats; old people in love is as cute as the internet gets.
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