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Two J.R.R. Tolkien films are in the works, but only one will talk about Jesus a lot

Following last year’s announcement that Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertainment are developing the J.R.R. Tolkien biopic Tolkien comes news that another film about Tolkien’s life is also in the works—and this one even has the projected release date of Easter 2015. It’s a smaller movie, set to be directed by Con Air’s Simon West, and intentionally released on Easter weekend in an effort to appeal to a “faith-based audience.” That’s because Tolkien & Lewis will focus on the Lord Of The Rings author’s friendship—and eventual rivalry—with C.S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles Of Narnia series, and all the talks about Jesus they had.

Tolkien and Lewis were colleagues at the University of Oxford who were both haunted by their experiences as veterans of World War I. They often had religious debates as they encouraged each other to finish their long-in-the-works masterpieces. The devoutly Catholic Tolkien is often credited as having converted Lewis, who previously identified as agnostic, to Christianity. At some point, their friendship curdled, and Tolkien & Lewis will focus on that fallout after Lewis gained a reputation as a public theologian, while Tolkien grappled with writer’s block as he struggled to finish his LOTR books and remained haunted by “strange, psychotic visions” stemming from his war experiences. 

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

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