AN Australian producer is leading the battle to bring to screen the story of JRR Tolkien’s relationship with his University of Oxford colleague CS Lewis.
Attractive Films’ Wernher Pramschufer describes his coming feature film, Tolkien & Lewis, as “obviously one of the most extraordinary stories yet untold”.
Brisbane-based Pramschufer says he anticipates his production will begin filming in Britain in November with Con Air and The Expendables 2’s Simon West directing.
The film looks to capitalise on the enduring appeal of both writers, enhanced by recent successful cinema adaptations of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbitand Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series. Each of the recent five films adapted from Tolkien’s books by Peter Jackson have earned, on average, $US1 billion in box-office receipts alone.
Tolkien & Lewis, written by Australian Jacqueline Cook, explores how the devout Catholic Tolkien converted Lewis to Christianity, which permeated his books. The two later fell out as Lewis attained fame.
“It’s not an overtly Christian film as such but if you are (Christian), you will feel a great deal of warmth,” producer Pramschufer says. “They were two colossal intellects with a great grasp of English and fantasy who were close but became very distant because of their rivalry.”
The dual British-Australian national says the film will be made in Britain. “It is a British film as such but it has been developed and produced in Australia,” he says. “And this comes from the idea of taking Australian cinema to the world. we want to make films that have global appeal rather than just be in the cinemas for one day.”