HOLLYWOOD producers are working on plans for a film about the life of Hobbit author JRR Tolkien.

Fox Searchlight is planning to make a film about the life of The Lord of the Rings author that would focus on his time as a soldier during the First World War and at Oxford University.

The film will reportedly look at what Tolkien did in the years before he wrote the fantasy novels for which he is known worldwide.

The production is at an early stage, but it will be produced by Chernin Entertainment, the group behind films such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the police comedy The Heat.

The script is being written by award-winning film director David Gleeson.

The Tolkien Estate says it has not been consulted about the plan, but the news has been hailed as a further boost for Oxford’s film tourism industry.

Giles Ingram, of Experience Oxfordshire, said: “Tolkien is absolutely a big draw for people coming to Oxford.

“The interest in Tolkien and the connections through to the area for his work are absolutely enormous.

“Film tourism has been very beneficial to the city and new films help to keep interest in authors going, and bringing it to new generations.”

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Exeter College between 1925 and 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959.

He wrote The Hobbit and the first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings while living in Northmoor Road. He is buried in Wolvercote Cemetery with his wife Edith.

Tolkien frequented the Eagle and Child pub in St Giles with friend and Narnia author CS Lewis.

Films based on his books have grossed nearly $4bn worldwide and attracted people from across the globe to visit Oxford.

Shaun Gunner, chairman of the Tolkien Society, said the author would make a good character for a film.

He said: “I can understand the fascination with him. He is an incredibly interesting person as a character.”