Nicholas Hoult Frontrunner To Play Young J.R.R. Tolkien

EXCLUSIVE: Nicholas Hoult is in early talks to star in Tolkien. He will play J.R.R. Tolkien, whose Middle-Earth epic novels hatched the Peter Jackson-directed film trilogies The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit. Dome Karukoski has been set to direct Tolkien, with Chernin Entertainment producing for Fox Searchlight.

The script by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a fellow group of 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.

The filmmakers sparked to Hoult’s performance in the Yorgos Lanthimos-directed The Favorite. He also co-stars as Nikolas Tesla in The Current War, which was named today as part of the Toronto Film Festival slate, and he reprises as The Beast in the Simon Kinberg-directed X-Men: Dark Phoenix. He’s repped by UTA and 42.