British television director James Strong has been signed on to direct Middle Earth, an appropriate title for a film centering around The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit author. The story will center around the insane events of Tolkien’s real life that helped inspire his books and later the films that followed.
Strong has credits for directing shows like Downton Abbey and Broadchurch for BBC and will have Blacklist scribe Angus Fletcher as his screenwriter and researcher for the project. Fletcher has apparently been on the hunt for information on Tolkien thanks to his own personal research, interviews etc. so we’d imagine his six year stint in finding out as much as he can on the author will turn out to be a promising script.
This could turn out to be as epic a film as the stories he wrote thanks to the experiences he faced during war while fighting for four years (obviously his inspiration for LOTR) while falling in love with his soon to be wife prior to the war. His life in Oxford prior to fighting was peaceful and serene like the Shire he wrote about.
For a film with such promise and meat to it’s story, it’s interesting that a television writer and director are the ones taking on the project for a movie studio, but hopefully with all the passion and research put into the film, the movie can translate and the talent will flock to film like we’d hope it would.