The director and stars of Tolkien have backed the biopic after the author’s family voiced their disapproval of the film.
Ahead of the release of the film the estate of JRR Tolkien made clear the family “do not endorse it or its content in any way”.
Speaking at the London premiere, some of the stars said their work respects and honours the author of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings.
Nicholas Hoult, who plays the writer, said he is a fan of Tolkien’s work and the feature based on his life was made “very respectfully”.
Lily Collins, playing the writer’s wife Edith Bratt, said the biopic is the “right honour”.
The Tolkien estate and his family released a statement on April 23 saying “they did not approve of, authorise or participate in the making of this film”.
Director Dome Karukoski said that the film was made with love and respect, and believes Tolkien would approve of the dramatic storytelling.
He said not having family approval was “tricky”, but defended the film.
He told the Press Association: “Well, they haven’t seen the film. It is a labour of love. It is done with respect and admiration for the professor.
“It’s a dramatic, beautiful, cinematic tale. It feels odd that a storyteller wouldn’t want that on the screen.
“I have offered to sit with the estate and talk, and explain why some artistic choices have been made. It’s a tricky one, but I would just love to watch the film with them.”
Hoult plays Tolkien in his younger days, faced with romance, flowering friendship and the horrors of the First World War – traumas and experiences that shaped his future work as an author.
The actor believes the story should be shared to inspire audiences.
He said: “I think it’s been done very respectfully, as a fan.
“It’s story that stands alone. Such a remarkable life – his relationships, what he endured in World War One. What inspired him, hopefully it will inspire new audiences now.”
Collins said she is a fan of fantasy and the works of Tolkien, and relished playing the part of the author’s muse and future wife.
She praised the biopic and said fans of the author and the films based on his works should know the man behind the stories.
Collins said: “I believe that it’s an amazing story to tell. Everyone who sees the film agrees that we have to do honour to the man himself.
“To just know the stories would be a shame, to know the man himself is the right honour.”
No other project about the author’s life has made it to production.