Beloved storyteller J.R.R. Tolkien published his seminal fantasy series more than 80 years ago, and we’re still finding new ways to love it. Peter Jackson’s much-celebrated film trilogy was just the beginning of a Tolkien renaissance. There’s currently an Aragorn-centric prequel series in the works for Amazon Prime, sure to conjure up a new generation of Tolkien obsessives. But first, there’s Tolkien, a biopic about the real-life story of the man who created Middle-earth.
In the first trailer for the film, we see Nicholas Hoult step into the shoes of the writer during his time at Exeter College and his service in the First World War, where he served as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Yes, some of this is a bit heavy-handed. Hoult-as-Tolkien literally describes the origins of his famous “fellowship,” the group of Men and Hobbits and other magical beings tasked with protecting the all-powerful ring, who were inspired by his Exeter friends. The trailer also takes advantage of Jackson’s film trilogy, contrasting similar-looking iconography from those films with imagery from Tolkien’s time at war.
And yet, the overall effect of the trailer is quite powerful. Fox Searchlight, who is producing the film, let the popular Tolkien fan site TheOneRing.net debut the trailer, showing great revere for the fandom. The tone is one of grandeur and adventure, a perfect tribute to the man behind the magical world that continues to inspire us.
Tolkien will also tell the story of the creator’s marriage to Edith Bratt, played by Lily Collins. They were together through the highs and lows of his life and career, and died only 21 months apart from one another. It will be both touching and fascinating to see how she also inspired his stories; we imagine there’s a fair amount of Edith in Arwen.
Tolkien is directed by Dome Karukoski and will hit theaters on May 20.
Images: Fox Searchlight