The 27-year-old British actor is in early talks to portray the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings writer in the forthcoming movie Tolkien, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Finnish director Dome Karukoski (The Grump) is attached to direct the Fox Searchlight Pictures and Chernin Entertainment film. David Gleeson (Cowboys & Angels) and Stephen Beresford (Pride) will write the script.
Deadline reported Tolkien will explore the orphaned author's formative years of "friendship, love and artistic inspiration" among other outcasts at school. His cherished bonds are threatened by the outbreak of World War I.
Tolkien, who died at age 81 in 1973, also wrote The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-earth, which were published posthumously. Director Peter Jackson adapted The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for the big screen.
Hoult is known for portraying Beast in the X-Men films, and will star as Catcher in the Rye writer J.D. Salinger in the new movie Rebel in the Rye. He shared a first trailer for the film last week on Twitter.
"Such an honour to learn about and portray this man," the star said of Salinger. "Here's the first trailer for #RebelInTheRye."