Fox Searchlight Pictures is setting up a biopic that follows the early life of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit author J.R.R. Tolkien, tentatively entitled Tolkien.

David Gleeson (Cowboys & Angels), a lifelong fan of the author, is writing the screenplay which is focused particularly on J.R.R. Tolkien's days as a Pembroke College student and his time as a soldier in World War I. After the writer lost several friends during The Great War, he channeled those experiences into creating the characters and worlds in his novels.

While there has been no definitive biopic on the author, there have been several that never made it past the development stage, including Mirkwood, which focused on his work as a code breaker in World War II. That project is said to have had difficulties with the author's notoriously private estate, although it isn't known if they will be cooperating on this project or not.

Peter Chernin is producing through his Chernin Entertainment company. No production schedule was given. The The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit and other adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's work have earned more than $4 billion worldwide.