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J.R.R. Tolkien biopic Middle Earth lands director

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J.R.R. Tolkien may be best known for his epic tales of hobbits, dwarves, and elves, but now, the author’s own story is coming to the big screen in a biopic titled Middle Earth.

James Strong has signed on to direct a biopic of the beloved Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit author, EW has confirmed. Angus Fletcher wrote the script after years of research and interviews, chronicling the experiences that led Tolkien to create his epic fantasy world — from the years he spent fighting in World War I to his love affair with his wife Edith (who famously inspired Tolkien’s love story about Middle Earth’s Beren and Lúthien).

Unique Features’ Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are serving as producers alongside Rachael Horovitz. Shaye and Lynne were the ones who initially greenlit Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy when they headed New Line Cinema, and the series went on to rake in almost $3 billion worldwide. Protagonist Pictures is handling sales.

Strong is best known for his work in British television, helming episodes of Downton Abbey, Broadchurch, Doctor Who, and more. His most recent feature film was 2011’s United.