Tolkien and Lewis from Attractive Films looks to be leading the horse race to release a biopic about the creator of Middle-Earth and his friend, the inventor of Narnia.
Attractive just signed Simon West to direct (Expendables 2), who is being co-credited as a producer with Wernher Pramschufer. The movie, written by Jacqueline Cook, has a budget of $18M.
The Hollywood Reporter outlined the film in a recent article:
The story centers on Tolkien’s relationship with his University of Oxford colleague C.S. Lewis, whom Tolkien, a devout Catholic, converted to Christianity. The formerly agnostic Lewis’ newfound faith infused his most popular books, including The Chronicles of Narnia series, while Lewis in turn encouraged Tolkien to finish his The Lord of the Rings volumes, which were decades in the making. Much of the movie takes place at the beginning of World War II, when Tolkien, a veteran of World War I, is haunted by memories of his fallen friends. Meanwhile, Lewis’ growing fame as an untrained theologian strains his relationship with Tolkien and his university job.
Soon, the two writers’ friendship is poisoned by jealousy, paranoia and creative and religious differences. “Lewis becoming the poster boy for Christianity upset Tolkien,” says Attractive principal Wernher Pramschufer. “And obsessive genius Tolkien is blocked, terrified of finishing The Fellowship of the Ring, for fear of the strange, psychotic visions which torture him.”
Attractive Films is aiming for an Easter release.
The other movie about the pair in production is Fox Searchlight’s Tolkien, developed by Chernin Entertainment from a script by David Gleeson. It’s described as “a more straightforward biopic about the author’s life, depicting his time in World War I and his time as a professor.”
Prof. Lewis has more frequently been before the lens. Reaching for Wikipedia:
(I should have noted that the quote above is from the article on Lewis.)
Joy Daviman Gresham was previously married to William Lindsey Gresham, author of NIGHTMARE ALLEY.