Collins, who most recently appeared in the drama To the Bone, will portray Edith Bratt, who inspired the elven princess Arwen in Lord of the Rings. Tolkien met Bratt when he was 16, but was forbidden from officially courting her until he turned 21, by which point Bratt, three years his senior, was already engaged. Spoiler alert: She accepted his proposal anyway.
Collins will star opposite Nicholas Hoult, who’ll play Tolkien. (The actor knows a thing or two about playing an author onscreen: He portrays the reclusive J.D. Salinger in Rebel in the Rye, in limited release now.) Collins later took to Twitter shortly after Variety broke the news, saying, “as a lifelong fan of Tolkien's magic, I can't wait to start this epic adventure.”
Tolkien is being written by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford, and will be directed by Dome Karukoski. The film will reportedly focus on the author's life leading up to World War I, which threatened a tight community of friends he'd founded (referred to as a “fellowship”) as well as his own life as he served as an army conscript for four years. His war experience left him with serious questions about the purpose and direction of his writing. Those questions would guide his academic career at Oxford and inspire his most famous literary works.
No word yet on when the film is expected to arrive in theaters.