Fox Searchlight’s new film Tolkien focuses on the early life of the Lord of the Rings author, but is not necessarily an “authorized” telling. J.R.R. Tolkien’s family made that clear on Tuesday with a statement saying that while they are aware of the upcoming film, they “do not endorse” it.
“The family and the [Tolkien] Estate wish to make clear that they did not approve of, authorize or participate in the making of this film,” the statement reads. “They do not endorse it or its content in any way.”
Directed by Dome Karukoski, Tolkien stars Nicholas Hoult as the young J.R.R. Tolkien as he bonds with friends and experiences the horrors of World War I; Lily Collins costars as his longtime love Edith Bratt, who would go on to inspire several of Middle-earth’s female characters.
Reached for comment, Fox Searchlight said in a statement to EW: “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.”
Tolkien hits theaters May 10.
This post has been updated with Fox Searchlight’s statement.