Nicholas Hoult’s ‘Tolkien’ movie never got the approval of JRR Tolkien’s estate

Nicholas Hoult seen at Radio

Here are some photos of Nicholas Hoult out and about in London on Monday. He’s doing promotion for Tolkien, which is a bio-pic of JRR Tolkien’s college years. I’ve seen the commercials for it, and the ads remind me of The Theory of Everything, only without ALS. Anyway, I just liked these photos because Hoult is so cute – who would have thought that the gawky kid would grow into such a beautiful butterfly? He’s adorable and TALL. As for the Tolkien movie, the estate of JRR Tolkien is not amused – apparently, they did not authorize this whatsoever:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s family is making it clear that they do not support an upcoming biopic starring Nicholas Hoult as the legendary author. The Dome Karukoski-directed Tolkien, which chronicles The Lord of the Rings author’s formative years at school, is set for release next month. But Tolkien’s estate issued a searing statement Tuesday declaring they had no part in making the film, and do not “endorse it or its content in any way.”

“The family of J.R.R. Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate are aware of the Fox Searchlight motion picture entitled Tolkien that is due for release in May 2019,” the estate said in a statement to PEOPLE. “The family and the Estate wish to make clear that they did not approve of, authorize, or participate in the making of the film. They do not endorse it or its content in any way.”

Tolkien stars Hoult as the British author and Lily Collins as his wife Edith. The official synopsis from Fox Searchlight reads: “Tolkien 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.”

[From People]

Wow, did the filmmakers just decide to do the movie without the estate’s approval completely? I feel like that’s wrong – it’s one thing if the person is a significant historical or political figure, but Tolkien was a writer and filmmakers shouldn’t really be allowed to do that to someone who falls more on the “private citizen” aspect of fame – yes, Tolkien was a celebrated writer, but if the estate says no, don’t do it. It’s bad enough when it is a political or historical figure and the filmmakers just make sh-t up (see: The Darkest Hour). Usually Hoult makes better decisions than this.

Nicholas Hoult seen at Radio

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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12 Responses to “Nicholas Hoult’s ‘Tolkien’ movie never got the approval of JRR Tolkien’s estate”

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  1. Abby says:

    yikes. I was really excited about this movie, but… how can you not get his estate’s approval and still make a movie about him? He’s an iconic writer, his work is classic!

  2. Loretta says:

    He was so cute with JLaw. They were one of my favourite celebrity couple.

  3. Incredulous says:

    The estate would have banned the LOTR and Hobbit trilogies if they could have and whatever Amazon makes – they do not play well with others at all.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Didn’t they sue the studio and Peter Jackson over the movies? IIRC it was over royalties. Both those trilogies made millions.

      • Incredulous says:

        To be fair, Peter Jackson had New Line Cinema audited over the movies, too. They were claiming the poor mouth over the first three not making much money. Hollywood accounting, ladies and gentlemen.

        Tolkien’s estate just really hate not having control over everything. Hell, they disowned his grandson for appearing in the second LOTR movie.

  4. Becks1 says:

    Oh that’s a bummer. I wanted to see it, but am less inclined to do so now.

  5. Mia4s says:

    Well to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum: you could but you never stopped to think if you should.

    So messy when trying to promote a film like this. Poor choice.

  6. M.A.F. says:

    That is disappointing. Now I have second thoughts on seeing this.

  7. BlueSky says:

    This reminds me of the whole “Green Book” debacle where Dr. Shirley’s family were not happy about the film and the filmmakers were basically like “we DGAF.”

  8. Caity Didn’t says:

    Why go after the actor? He’s working for hire. It’s the studio that should be criticized here.

  9. SKF says:

    They made a pretty nasty film about Mark Zuckerberg and no one blinked an eye. He is technically a private citizen too. The writer of that film (Sorkin) admitted he had no real interest in the real person and yet his view of MZ has shaped how many people think of him.

    This looks like a very kind unauthorised biography film. It will probably also boost book sales as did the LOTR and Hobbit films (which Christopher Tolkien didn’t like).

    I think it is better to have the backing or approval of the estate and family but it isn’t actually necessary and can sometimes lead to a neutered story.

  10. Texas says:

    My feeling is that the estate may just want money. The film may or may not be good. But I believe that Tolkien is pretty much in the public eye and as such is fair game. Just my opinion.