Less than a month before Fox Searchlight puts Nicholas Hoult as J.R.R. Tolkien out into the world via their new biopic Tolkien, the family and estate of the famed fantasist want to make clear that they have nothing to do with the film.
In a statement put out this week, the J.R.R. Tolkien family and the Tolkien estate said they wanted to “make clear that they did not approve of, authorize or participate in the making” of Tolkien, which is based on Tolkien’s early life and the World War 1 experiences that eventually led to his creation of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The statement goes on to say that the family does not “endorse it or its content in any way,” making their feelings fairly clear.
Interestingly, these comments come from the family and estate despite the fact that they haven’t yet seen Tolkien, according to their representative. Likewise, the statement from the estate isn’t exactly a criticism of any particular scene or historical falsehood allegedly present in Tolkien, but more of a general washing of hands. It would seem the estate simply doesn’t want to be associated with Tolkien at all, which makes one wonder if they’re a little bitter about not having a financial stake of some kind in the project.
Regardless, Tolkien stars Lily Collins, Derek Jacobi, Colm Meaney, Pam Ferris, Mimi Keene and Nicholas Hoult as the famous author, and is due for a May 10, 2019 release. It will be the first Fox Searchlight film released by Disney since its acquisition of 21st Century Fox was confirmed.
We’ll see if the Tolkien estate has further comment on the relative quality or accuracy of Tolkien once the film has actually hit theaters.