Director James Strong has signed on to direct Middle Earth, a biopic chronicling the events that helped shape and inspire author J.R.R. Tolkien’s renowned novels, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Strong’s credits include two popular TV series – Broadchurch and Downton Abbey. He will be directing from an Angus Fletcher screenplay, who spent six years gathering materials on Tolkien through personal interviews and archival research.
Under Unique features, Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne will produce with Rachael Horovitz. Shaye and Lynne are best known for getting Lord of the Rings greenlit while at New Line. Worldwide sales are being handled by Protagonist Pictures and who will release the project for buyers at next year’s Berlin Film Festival.
The story follows Tolkien’s life in his earlier years when he met Edith Bratt. After marriage and living happily at Oxford, war broke out in 1914. Tolkien’s happy life is flipped and begins a battle with numerous hardships for the next four years, ultimately inspiring his Middle Earth tales.
Besides Middle Earth, Fletcher’s upcoming work includes an adaptation of E.M. Forster’s The Longest Journey for Classic Film Productions.