When I read over at Film School Rejects that JRR Tolkien was getting a biopic, I let out a big ol pipe-smoking sigh. Wouldn't this have been a better use of Peter Jackson's time than what he's been spending the last few years doing? If you're going to gild the lily, find a new way! The only time Jackson did a true story (Heavenly Creatures) it was quite impressive and still made use of his imaginative fantasy aesthetics. A bigger sigh followed when I pictured J.R.R. Tolken in my head from this photo to your left embedded in me brain from childhood.
How long before we hear the casting announcement and then a photo of Anthony Hopkins in full makeup with a pipe, I thought. That's EXACTLY who Hollywood would cast because they never think outside the box.
But - yay! - the biopic will cover the formative younger years in World War I and at university which led to The Hobbit through The Lord of the Rings (so one presumes the biopic ends in the 1950s when Tolkien also reached his fifties)/ CGI de-aging is not yet advanced to subject us to the defacto Hopkins casting of old man biopics (yes he gets them all: Kellogg, Nixon, Lewis, Picasso, Hitchcock...)
SO LET'S PLAY "CAST THIS!"
Here's two photos of J.R.R. Tolkien which I believe are from his younger years in the service and at university but even in his mid to late 20s / early 30s (?) he already looked like a distinguished older man!
It'd be smartest to cast someone in their 30s or early 40s who can look younger and older. My first thought was Ryan Gosling, solely because the Gos is never far from the mind and I think he popped up because of his similar longish face. But then I have trouble picturing him aging up into that jovial ol' pipe smoker from all the book jackets, so that's not quite right. I think I just had a better idea but I want to hear your suggestions to see if anyone reaches a similar conclusion
So who would you cast? Ready, set... comment!