J.R.R. Tolkien's family wants everybody to know they "do not endorse" the upcoming Tolkien biopic. Actor Nicholas Hoult plays the iconic author of The Lord of the Rings in the movie, which hits theaters in less than a month and Tolkien's family has released a statement announcing they had nothing to do with the biopic's production. The family also famously did not sanction Peter Jackson's big screen adaptations of The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. However, they are backing the new Amazon series.
The trailers for Tolkien have been met with excitement by long-time fans who are looking forward to seeing the life of J.R.R. Tolkien told on the big screen. However, the author's family and estate are not very enthusiastic about the biopic at all. They released a statement earlier this week, which you can read below.
"The family of JRR Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate are aware of the Fox Searchlight motion picture entitled Tolkien that is due for release in May 2019. The family and the Estate wish to make clear that they did not approve of, authorize or participate in the making of this film. They do not endorse it or its content in any way."
A spokesman for Fox Searchlight Pictures also released a statement in response to J.R.R. Tolkien's family and estate. Obviously, the studio is looking forward to putting out the Dome Karukoski directed biopic since it has been met with so much positivity. The release date is less than a month away and it seems the family and estate are trying to hurt the movie at the box office. Fox Searchlight Pictures had this to say.
"We are so proud of Dome Karukoski's film Tolkien which focuses on the early years of J.R.R. Tolkien's extraordinary life and does not depict subject matter from his novels. While we did not work with the Tolkien Estate on this project, the filmmaking team has the utmost respect and admiration for Mr. Tolkien and his phenomenal contribution to literature."
J.R.R. Tolkien's estate and Harper Collins sued Warner Bros. back in 2012 over The Lord of the Rings slot machines, which they claimed were infringing on copyright and a breach of contract. The suit was later settled out of court in 2017 for an undisclosed settlement. The family and estate have not been happy with the way the Tolkien legacy has been treated in popular culture and claim that the movies have taken away from reading Tolkien's source material. The author's son, Christopher, says the commercialization of his father's work, "has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing."
Tolkien hits theaters on May 10th, which is also the same day Detective Pikachu and The Hustle open, so it wasn't going to hit the number one spot, even if the family and estate of J.R.R. Tolkien did officially sanction the movie. With that being said, it has been reported that the upcoming Lord of the Rings series on Amazon is going to cost half of a million dollars, with $250 million of that going to the rights, which might be why the family and estate are behind it. This news was first revealed by The Hollywood Reporter.