Thread: Tolkien Bio-pic
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:29 PM   #28
The Squatter of Amon Rdh
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I think people often forget that, although he wasn't the first or only fantasy author of the early twentieth century, it was Tolkien who launched the genre into the stratosphere. He's so pervasive that it's almost impossible now to conceive of the classic fantasy races in any terms other than his. You could argue that without him there would be no D&D, no sword and sorcery films, no fantasy culture as we know it. It's even possible that he has led more people to serious medieval studies than any other academic of his generation, and he certainly showed the way to anyone who wanted to use European mythology in fiction.

In short, he casts a long shadow. He's so much a part of the cultural landscape that people mistake Tolkien's inventions for tradition, or quote him without realising it. I think Peter Jackson owes him for more than some story ideas: he only had an audience, or even a subculture to join, because - in a rare move for him - Tolkien actually finished his Hobbit sequel. Those films are almost Tolkien eating himself, because so much that they take for granted was invented, revived or re-imagined by Tolkien, and much of the popular culture they draw on was influenced by his work. The shadow is his, and the films are just a finger of it.

As for the biopic: it will be what those are. It will give you a few highlights and greatest hits, interspersed with conjecture and narrative licence. I'm not planning to watch it until it appears in the Christmas schedule, when I'll be filling up the corners and not paying much attention anyway.
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