Upcoming J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic ‘Middle Earth’ Finds the One Director to Rule Them All
He was forged in the fires of the deepest reaches of the BBC, honed and toughened in the crucible of TV and made-for-TV movies. The one director to rule them all — or at least, to take the helm for the upcoming J.R.R. Tolkien biopic Middle Earth — has been found, and while he won’t need to be cast in Mount Doom, he is still very strong.
James Strong, to be specific! Deadline reports that the seasoned director of such programs as Doctor Who, Torchwood, Broadchurch, Downton Abbey and most recently, 11.22.63 has agreed to take on the “epic story” of Tolkien and the extraordinary events that inspired him to pen such fantasy classics as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The film will focus on the period of the man’s life during which he fell in love and married Edith Bratt, only for their domestic idyll to be broken by the intrusion of World War I in 1914. Tolkien went off to serve and witnessed the horrors of battle that he’d later repurpose as large-scale conflicts between mythical creatures.
Casting for the role of Tolkien is ongoing, but Strong does already have a script courtesy of writer Angus Fletcher, who spent six years pawing through archival materials and old interviews as research. It’ll be quite a feat of wizardry if this project can conjure the same box-office magic as the hugely lucrative Lord of the Rings franchise, but it’s like the old Hollywood saying goes: “Go with Tolkien, and no way you’re chokin’!”