Narnia exec Mark Joseph producing a Tolkien & Lewis Movie

Tolkien & LewisOver the last few years, there have been many starts and stops for movies based on the life of J.R.R. Tolkien, including some that focus on his friendship with Narnia writer C.S. Lewis. There are currently at least two Tolkien movies that seem to be nearing production, with at least two more that I know are in varying stages of development. There’s also a TV series that is currently being written. Yep, that’s four different movies and a television series about Tolkien.

Tolkien & Lewis – The story centers on Tolkien’s relationship with his University of Oxford colleague C.S. Lewis, whom Tolkien, a devout Catholic, converted to Christianity. The formerly agnostic Lewis’ newfound faith infused his most popular books, including The Chronicles of Narnia series, while Lewis in turn encouraged Tolkien to finish hisThe Lord of the Rings volumes, which were decades in the making. Much of the movie takes place at the beginning of World War II, when Tolkien, a veteran of World War I, is haunted by memories of his fallen friends. Meanwhile, Lewis’ growing fame as an untrained theologian strains his relationship with Tolkien and his university job. Tolkien & Lewis producers include Mark Joseph (ReaganMax Rose), Mark Cooper(Chocolat), Jib Polhemus (The Mechanic), Charles Moore (The Eagle) and Wernher Pramschufer. (via) It is an $18 million drama, and will be produced by UK-based production outfit Attractive Films and directed by Simon West, known for The Expendables 2Con Air, and a certain Rick Astley music video.

Mark Joseph, a producer on Tolkien & Lewis, was also an exec for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005).

Tolkien (Working Title) – The Tolkien project is being put together at studio Fox Searchlight by producer Peter Chernin of Chernin Entertainment, which has brought films such as The Heat and Rise of the Planet of the Apes to cinemas in recent years. It will follow in the celluloid footsteps of films such as the Oscar-nominated 2004 J.M. Barrie biopic Finding Neverland, which told the story of the creator of Peter Pan, and this year’s London film festival hit Saving Mr. Banks, which chronicled the history of the spiky inventor of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers, and her tussles with Walt Disney over the film adaptation of her book. (via)

I’m not sure of the progress of the other three projects, at this point. These two look closest to production at this point.


Chi Rho in LOTRO: Tolkien’s Foundation of Faith

“There on a sudden did my heart perceive

That they who sang about the Eve,

Who answered the bright-shining stars

With gleaming music of their strange guitars,

These were His wandering happy sons

Encamped upon those aery leas

Where Gods’ unsullied garment runs

In glory down to his mighty knees.”

– J.R.R Tolkien, from Habbanan beneath the Stars

Sometime in the beleaguered days of 1915, J.R.R. Tolkien sought refuge from military movements, and likely pining for aery leas, he penned the words above. This poem gives us an early glimpse of the artist laying down the supporting stones for his vast legendarium. While the canvas is still largely bare, we can see the foundational elements being mixed together; faith and fairyland, hope and hidden fire.

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Pauline Baynes, Narnia’s illustrator, dies at 85 – UPDATED (2)

Pauline BaynesWe’ve just received the sad news that the original illustrator of The Chronicles of Narnia has just passed away:

Wayne Hammond reports the death of Baynes at her home in Surrey. Pauline Baynes was the original illustrator of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series, as well as of Tolkien’s Farmer Giles of Ham (1948), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book (1962), and Smith of Wootton Major (1967).

Read more .. Wikipedia Entry

Narnia expert Brian Sibley has written a blog entry about Pauline Baynes that you can read here:

Brian Sibley’s Blog on Pauline Baynes: Queen of Narnia and Middle-Earth

And note that obituaries will be appearing in The Times, The Telegraph, The Independent and The Guardian later in the week.

Kind regards,

Brian Sibley

Update 2:

Rem, from the Philippine Order of Narnians, sent us an update with links to the articles posted athe both the Independent and the Guardian:

I thought you’d like to know that, as Mr Sibley said they would, Pauline Baynes’ obituaries have already shown up at the Independent and the Guardian.