Tolkien portrait

Development: Tolkien getting summer release; Apple eyeing TV deal with X-Men writer; and more

Contributed by
Jan 17, 2019

A couple of sci-fi projects have recently made some production headway while a story about one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time has finally confirmed its theatrical release.

Tolkien, the biopic about The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins, has had everything lined up as fans continue to buzz about the upcoming Amazon series based on his Lord of the Rings series. Now fans can mark on their calendars that director Dome Karukoski’s biopic will hit screens this summer on May 10.

While no trailer has dropped yet, this still gives a hint about what kind of movie this will be. A summer release date implies a general audience appeal and an unpretentious approach to fall’s awards season (which is when movies hungry for honors tend to hit). Whether the dramatic take on Tolkien’s life lives up to the author’s creations remains to be seen.

Next, one of the people responsible for how the X-Men are perceived on the big screen is making moves on the small screen. According to Deadline, Apple will be the home for an untitled sci-fi show created and co-written by Simon Kinberg and David Weil. Kinberg wrote, directed, and/or produced much of the X-Men universe while Weil recently placed his show The Hunt at Amazon.

Details are scarce, but it’s reportedly a “large-budget, ambitious, character-driven genre” affair that’ll start shooting this summer.

Finally, the director of Divergent is tackling even more YA sci-fi. According to The Wrap, Neil Burger will direct his own original screenplay for Voyagers with AGC Studios. The thriller is currently casting its leads and will begin production this spring.

The story is classic: kids are in space and things go wrong. Thirty children are sent off to become explorers and colonizers of a new planet...but of course everything gets screwed up when their adult captain is “mysteriously killed.” Things get pretty Lord of the Flies pretty quickly, and fans can rest assured that madness in space isn’t going to be scaled back any because those who’ve gone mad are a little on the young side.

It sounds super bloody, weird, and fun — especially if Voyagers can land a few solid actors to lead it into chaos.

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