Nicholas Hoult plays a young Tolkien in the bio-whip
The Family and the Property of Lord of the Rings and Hobbit author JRR Tolkien has distanced himself from the upcoming biopic about the late author – but the film's authors have given assurances that it is respectful.
Tolkien which stars Nicholas Hoult as a younger version of the title teacher, has been directed by Dome Karukoski and is intended for release in the UK on May 3.
The first trailer for the film, which will explore "the famous author's life-formative years when he finds friendship, courage and inspiration among a group of writers and artists in school" was released in February.
When the film's release date is approaching, Tolkien's family has now spoken to the film by saying that they do not accept biopic "in any way".
"The family of JRR Tolkien and Tol kien Estate is aware of the Fox Searchlight movie's title Tolkien, which is scheduled to be released in May 2019," a statement released today (April 23) by the family and Tolkien Estate reads.
"The family and the property wish to make it clear that they did not approve, approve or participate in the production of this film. They do not support it or the content in any way."
Speakers to The Guardian added a spokesman For the estate, their statement was aimed at making their position clear rather than damaging any legal action against filmmakers.
But a spokesman for Fox Searchlight Pictures told NME that the film is a tribute to the author.
"We are so proud of the Dome Karukoski film TOLKIA, which focuses on the first years of JRR Tolkien's extraordinary life and does not portray the subject from his novels," says a spokesman. "While we did not work with Tolkien Estate on this project, the filmmaking has the greatest respect and admiration for Mr. Tolkien and his phenomenal contribution to the literature. "
Elsewhere a new adaptation of Tolkien's Lord of Rings novels is set to hit TV screens in either 2020 or 2021 through a new Amazon Studios production.