Nicholas Hoult might be adding another iconic author to his filmography. The star of the upcoming J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel in the Rye is reportedly the frontrunner for the title role in Tolkien, which will explore the life of the man whose beloved novels introduced readers all over the world to Gandalf, Hobbits and Gollum — and inspired countless works of fantasy fiction for decades to come.

Deadline reports that Hoult is in talks to star in Tolkien, an upcoming biopic about The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien. The film is described as follows:

…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.

Finnish director Dome Karukoski (Heart of a Lion) recently signed on to helm Tolkien, which is based on a script by Stephen Beresford (Pride) and David Gleeson — all of whom were reportedly impressed with Hoult’s performance in The Favorite, an upcoming film from The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos.

In addition to Rebel in the Rye (in theaters September 15) and his potential role in Tolkien, Hoult stars opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in The Current War — announced just this morning as part of TIFF’s official lineup. The actor is also set to reprise his role as Beast in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which is scheduled to arrive in 2018.

More From ScreenCrush