Why THE LORD OF THE RINGS Franchise is Returning with Gollum

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Why THE LORD OF THE RINGS Franchise is Returning with Gollum

By Movieguide® Contributor

Peter Jackson explained why he felt Gollum was the most intriguing character to bring THE LORD OF THE RINGS franchise back to theaters over a decade after the last movie.

“The Gollum/Sméagol character has always fascinated me because Gollum reflects the worst of human nature, whilst his Sméagol side is, arguably, quite sympathetic,” Jackson told Deadline. “I think he connects with readers and film audiences alike, because there’s a little bit of both of them in all of us.”

“We really want to explore his backstory and delve into those parts of his journey we didn’t have time to cover in the earlier films,” he continued. “It’s too soon to know who will cross his path, but suffice to say we will take out lead from Professor Tolkien.”

Despite playing a supporting role in the original trilogy, a portion of Gollum’s story has already been covered, such as his first encounter with the ring and the corruption of his soul from the ring’s maddening power. The new movie looks to fill in the gaps, focusing on the dark period when Gollum was alone with his precious.

After directing THE LORD OF THE RINGS and HOBBIT trilogies, Jackson is handing the reigns of the franchise to Andy Serkis. Serkis has played Gollum in the live-action adaptions and will reprise his role while helming the upcoming movie. He previously served as the second unit director on THE HOBBIT movies.

“Andy was a joy to work with directing Second Unit on THE HOBBIT,” Jackson said. “He has the energy and imagination and, most importantly, an inherent understanding of the world of the story that is needed to step back into Middle-earth.”

“We have collaborated on eight films together and each time has been a fantastic experience,” he continued. “There’s no one on this earth better equipped to tackle Gollum’s story than Andy.”

The original trilogy all won Teddy Awards® at the Movieguide® Awards.

Jackson will stay on to produce along with Ken Kamins, Jonathan Cavendish, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens. Walsh and Boyens are set to pen the script.

“It is an honour and a privilege to travel back to Middle-earth with our good friend and collaborator, Andy Serkis, who has unfinished business with that Stinker – Gollum! As life long fans of Professor Tolkien’s vast mythology, we are proud to be working with Mike De Luca, Pam Abdy and the entire team at Warner Bros. on another epic adventure!” Jackson, Walsh and Boyens said following the announcement.

Though the movie is yet to have a set release date, Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslov has teased that they are eyeing sometime in 2026. Until then, LORD OF THE RINGS fans can look forward to an upcoming animated movie coming out this December.

Movieguide® previously reported on Serkis:

Andy Serkis is set to direct and star in an upcoming LORD OF THE RINGS movie, tentatively titled LORD OF THE RINGS: THE HUNT FOR GOLLUM.

“For over two-decades, moviegoers have embraced the LORD OF THE RINGS film trilogy because of the undeniable devotion Peter [Jackson], Fran [Walsh] and Philippa [Boyens] have shown towards protecting the legacy of Tolkien’s works, and to ensure audiences could experience the incredible world he created in a way that honors his literary vision,” Warner Bros. Motion Pictures heads Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy said in a joint statement.

Jackson is set to produce the movie, while Walsh and Boyens will write the screenplay and serve as producers.

“We are honored they have agreed be our partners on these two new films,” De Luca and Abdy’s statement continued. “With Andy coming aboard to direct LORD OF THE RINGS: THE HUNT FOR GOLLUM (*WT), we continue an important commitment to excellence that is a true hallmark of how we all want to venture ahead and further contribute to the LORD OF THE RINGS cinematic history.”

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