I'm not familiar with the work of British director James Strong (he's directed TV shows like Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Gracepoint, and Broadchurch), but I suspect I'll get my introduction to his work with his newest film project. The Hollywood Reporter says that Strong is set to direct Middle Earth, a biopic of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings writer J.R.R. Tolkien.
The film will chart the tumultuous events that inspired him to pen Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies: when war broke out in 1914, disrupting his Oxford life with his wife Edith Bratt, Tolkien embarked on four years of battle, hardship, and new friendships, which served to shape his imagination and start him on the path to Middle Earth.
I've been watching the bonus features of the LOTR trilogy extended editions over the past few weeks and learned a lot about Tolkien's life and the events that led to him writing his most famous works, and I'm fascinated with how that will come through on the big screen. Movies about writers can be tough to crack because writing itself isn't really a cinematic act, but it sounds as if screenwriter Angus Fletcher — an associate professor at Ohio State University who spent six years doing interviews and archival research to tell this story — has an interesting take on it.
Nerdy question: it's been a while since I've read any of his work, but in Tolkien's writings, isn't it spelled "Middle-Earth" instead of "Middle Earth"? I think the movie title may be missing a dash.