GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / Larry Busacca
AMERICA – 25 July 2017: Finnish filmmaker Dome Karukoski is set to direct a Hollywood biopic about J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, his film company said on Tuesday.
Online entertainment magazine Deadline Hollywood broke the news on Monday and said that casting was under way.
"Dome can confirm the information in the Deadline article but he can't confirm or comment on anything else," Helsinki Filmi CEO Annika Sucksdorff told AFP.
One of his nation's most critically acclaimed filmmakers, Karukoski, 40, directed this year's "Tom Of Finland" , which portrays the life of a prominent gay figure in the 20th century.
The Tolkien script, written by Irish director David Gleeson and the UK's Stephen Beresford, "explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a fellow group of outcasts at school," Deadline Hollywood said.
The story tells of Tolkien's journey into World War I, which "threatens to tear the 'fellowship' apart," Deadline added.
Tolkien's experience in World War I is said to have inspired him in his books. He had initially refrained from enlisting in the British army after the war broke out in 1914 and completed his studies at the University of Oxford in 1915 instead.
He eventually joined the army and was summoned to France in 1916. Tolkien taught at Oxford for nearly 20 years while writing "The Hobbit" and the two first volumes of "The Lord of the Rings".
Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertainment have been working on the Tolkien biopic since 2013, US entertainment magazine Variety reported.
In 2016, Deadline reported that UK filmmaker James Strong would direct a separate movie focusing on Tolkien's love affair with Edith Bratt, who later became his wife.