The Guardian – Simon West to direct Tolkien & Lewis

Theological JRR Tolkien biopic secures Expendables 2 director

Tolkien & Lewis will focus on relationship between Hobbit author and CS Lewis and is set for Easter 2015 release date to target faith audience, 

Now a smaller independent movie, Tolkien & Lewis, will focus on his friendship with CS Lewis, author of the Narnia books. The Expendables 2’s Simon West will direct a movie that aims to target lucrative faith-based US audiences via an Easter release date.

Tolkien, a devout Catholic, was instrumental in re-introducing his previously agnostic friend to Christianity while the pair were academics at Oxford, prior to the second world war. But the pair later fell out over religious differences, as Lewis’s fame grew in theological circles.

Theologise this … CS Lewis in 1963
Theologise this … CS Lewis in 1963

“Lewis becoming the poster boy for Christianity upset Tolkien,” Wernher Pramschufer, of Tolkien & Lewis production company Attractive Films told the Hollywood Reporter. “And obsessive genius Tolkien is blocked, terrified of finishing The Fellowship of the Ring, for fear of the strange, psychotic visions which torture him.” 

The popularity of films based on Tolkien’s work nevertheless suggests both biopics could find plenty of traction with audiences. Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy took more than $3bn (£1.7bn) across the globe, and the New Zealand film-maker’s current three-part adaptation of The Hobbit has so far taken almost $2bn (£1.16bn) with one film still to be released.


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