The movie, directed by Dome Karukoski, and starring Nicholas Hoult as J.R.R. Tolkien and Lily Collins as his muse and wife Edith Bratt, 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.
David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford wrote Tolkien. Peter Chernin produces through his Chernin Entertainment label, with Jenno Topping, David Ready, and Kris Thykier.
Searchlight tends to plant a flag in the early summer specialty marketplace. We hear Tolkien, given the author’s mass appeal, will likely not be a platform release, rather potentially a wider one (though not saturated). In the past such notable May releases have included The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($46.4M domestic B.O.), Waitress which spawned a Broadway musical, Far From the Madding Crowd starring Carey Mulligan, and their Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner and Oscar best picture 2012 nominee The Tree of Life.