Lord of the Rings Team Teases Plot and Characters for The Hunt for Gollum

Mike Powers


When news broke that Warner Bros. was making a new Lord of the Rings movie about Gollum, directed by Gollum himself, Andy Serkis, and produced by Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, and Fran Walsh, we instantly wanted someone to pick their brains about it. Why come back? Why this story? Who will return? Now, someone has.

Deadline sat down with Jackson, Serkis, and Boyens to talk all things The Hunt for Gollum and the interview is filled with tantalizing teases. For example, the site refers to the Gollum movie as “the first of two new films,” which doesn’t even count this year’s anime, The War of the Rohirrim. That’s interesting. Also Jackson talked about why this story is the one that’s being told first.

“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 said. “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. It’s too soon to know who will cross his path, but suffice to say we will take our lead from Professor Tolkien.”

Serkis also teased that Gollum was likely to cross paths with recognizable characters, but didn’t want to commit. “That’s a difficult question to answer right at this moment in time, because we’re really in the nascent stages of what it is exactly where we’re doing, and where the story’s going to take us,” Serkis said. “So I don’t want to commit anything right now. I mean, because it’s so raw and wriggling, and we are just literally having very early state script discussions and ideas of exactly where and how we’re going to drop anchor with the character and his journey and how he is or comes into contact with other characters, and the characters that we know and don’t know. So still, I would hate to say anything that’s going to commit us at this point, because it’s literally all up for grabs.”

The interview also dives deep into ways that this movie will distinguish itself from the others. Lots of that has to do with the performance capture advancing since Lord of the Rings—but also it’s because Serkis, not Jackson, is directing. “There’s nobody else you can think of who knows what goes into that character and we know what he brings to it and brings to the whole world of Middle-earth,” Boyens said. “Andy’s going to have a really interesting take. It’s going to be his own take, because what we don’t want this film to be is just the fourth film in the trilogy. This film has to work in its own way. And that’s our job. That’s what we are going to have to be able to do. I know there’s plenty of people out there who will be like, oh no, why are they doing this? Why are they going back in? Well, that’s our job. Our job is going to have to be to prove why we think that it’s a good idea.”

Read more about how Jackson, Boyens, and Serkis view The Hunt For Gollum over on Deadline. It’s currently on track for a 2026 release.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.



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