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J.R.R. Tolkien‘s beloved stories are known worldwide, but what do we know about the man himself?

The new biopic Tolkien, with Nicholas Hoult in the title role, starts off with his early years growing up an orphan and takes us through his days at Oxford, fighting in World War I, and, of course, will include how he came to write his acclaimed novels.

In the recently released clip (April 8), we see Hoult as Tolkien talking to his wife and muse, Edith (Lily Collins). She’s trying to pull his story out of him, but he’s not interested. Clearly she knows her husband, because when she starts to tell the story as she understands it… he’s compelled to interject as her version isn’t quite right.

We see the start of what will ultimately become Middle-earth and all its wonderful inhabitants:

Tolkien’s The Hobbit was originally published in 1937, followed by The Lord of the Rings series (1954-1955). You can find a list of his major publications over at The Tolkien Society’s page.

There were film adaptations of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in 1978 and 1980, but director Peter Jackson‘s trilogy (2001-2003) is probably the most notable. He followed up with The Hobbit in 2012, acting as a prequel.

Tolkien will hit theaters on May 3 in the U.K. and May 10 in the U.S. We can also look for Hoult in the 2019 X-Men spinoff Dark Phoenix, reprising his role as Hank McCoy/Beast.

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By Brigid Brown