The spiritual connection between authors C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, one that inspired some of the most profound storytelling of the 20th century, is the inspiration for an upcoming film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
London- and Brisbane-based Attractive Films’ Tolkien & Lewis, to be directed by Simon West (The Expendables 2), is an $18 million feature financed via U.K. tax credits, presales and money raised by Wiggin Llp., a U.K. law firm that is an equity partner on the film. It’s aiming for an Easter release and will court the faith-based audience.
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.
One of the film’s producers, Mark Joseph, also is working on a biopic of conservative hero President Ronald Reagan.
The Tolkien & Lewis feature is one of two films currently gearing up that will zoom in on man behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Chernin Entertainment is developing Tolkien for Fox Searchlight with a script from Irish writer David Gleeson, and now a smaller independent studio is aiming to beat that project into theaters.