If you don't know who Nicholas Hoult is, the family and estate of JRR Tolkien is likely glad. The actor is starring as a young Tolkien in a film focusing on the author's "formative years," and the two entities on Tuesday put out a statement making it clear that they had no hand in the making of Tolkien, didn't authorize it, and don't endorse it. The Guardian reports the author's estate in the past has taken legal action over similar grievances: In 2011 author Stephen Hillard was forced to add a disclaimer to Mirkwood: A Novel About JRR Tolkien to make clear that it was fiction and distancing it from the estate. But a rep for the estate says the statement on the film isn't a run-up to any legal move.
People has Fox Searchlight's description of the film: "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." As for Hoult, NME notes he's picked up the writer's pen on the screen before: He played JD Salinger in 2017's Rebel In The Rye. Tolkien, directed by Dome Karukoski, also stars Lily Collins as Tolkien's wife. It hits theaters May 10. (Seven "classics" to take off your reading list.)