A NEW movie focusing on the early life of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien will hit cinema screens in May.

Tolkien explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.

Directed by Dome Karukoski and written by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford, the film, made by Fox Searchlight Pictures, stars Nicholas Hoult in the title role with Lily Collins as Edith Bratt.

Other actors include Craig Roberts, Laura Donnelly, Genevieve O’Reilly, Pam Ferris and Derek Jacobi.

The film is due to hit cinema screens in the UK on May 3.

READ AGAIN: Amazon plans new series of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

After filming was completed Mr Hoult tweeted: “Can’t wait for you all to see this beautiful story.”

A spokeswoman for Fox Searchlight Pictures said the movie takes the Exeter College student to the outbreak of the First World War, which threatens to tear his group of friends apart.

Some scenes were filmed in Oxford, along with locations in Liverpool and Manchester. 

When Tolkien arrived as an undergraduate at Exeter College in 1911 he had no idea of the horrors that lay ahead for him and his fellow students.

Within a few years, he and his contemporaries were transported to the Western Front in France and and many of them did not come back.

Tolkien survived and went on to gain fame by writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings but he never forgot his time in the trenches.

Tolkien the movie is not the only film project inspired by the fantasy author.

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Subscription channel Amazon is planning to bring The Lord of the Rings to the small screen.

After defeating Netflix and HBO, Amazon Studios secured the rights to turn the JRR Tolkien novels into a TV series in a record-breaking deal with the author’s estate, reaching $250m.

Amazon is working alongside New Line Cinema, the studio behind Peter Jackson’s film trilogy, to bring it to the small screen for a ‘multi-season commitment’.

It is understood that the first season will not be focused on the War for the Ring and will instead zoom in on a young Aragorn, who was played by Viggo Mortensen in the movies.

The series will be derived from Tolkien’s extensive appendices and notes rather than being a direct adaptation of the novel and is expected to focus on a different character each season.

Amazon Studios has committed to five seasons,with production scheduled to begin in the next two years. Tolkien, an Oxford professor who was a close friend of CS Lewis, died aged 81 in 1973.

A major Tolkien exhibition ran at the Bodleian Library last year.