After The Lord Of The Rings’ Gollum Movie Is Announced, Peter Jackson And Andy Serkis Explain Why They Wanted To Make The Spinoff

 Gollum smiles in the night in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Gollum smiles in the night in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

There’s no argument that The Lord of the Rings’ Gollum is one of the best characters of the franchise due to his tragic backstory and the complexity of his two-character persona. Just when you thought The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey would be the last time you'd see the ring-bearing hobbit, it was announced that Peter Jackson would make a new Lord of the Rings movie based on the memorable character. With a new Gollum movie coming to us, Jackson and Sméagol/Gollum actor Andy Serkis explain the reason for this exciting spinoff.

Warner Bros. announced in February 2023 that more Lord of the Rings movies would be on the way through WB’s New Line Cinema. We so far have the animated fantasy prequel film The Lord of the Rings: The War of Rohirrim coming in December, and then in two years, we’ll get the Peter Jackson-produced film The Hunt for Gollum (working title). Jackson spoke to Deadline about why this spinoff serves as a passion project for him.

The Gollum/Sméagol character has always fascinated me because Gollum reflects the worst of human nature, whilst his Sméagol side is, arguably, quite sympathetic. 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.

The J.R.R. Tolkien movies gave us pieces of Gollum's backstory. He started off as a Stoorish hobbit named Sméagol who came across the One Ring with his cousin and best friend, Deagol, only to kill him to claim the One Ring for himself. As the power of The Ring consumed Sméagol’s mind and body, he aged unnaturally, with his obsession and paranoia turning him into the twisted character of Gollum. He spent centuries guarding his “precious.”

There’s no word yet on the plot for the new spinoff, but I wonder if it’ll follow closely to the 15-year-old fan film of the same name. 2009’s The Hunt for Gollum had Gandalf sending Aragorn to capture Gollum to prevent him from disclosing the location of the One Ring to Sauron. Whatever the plot ends up being, it’ll give audiences the chance to get to know LOTR’s beloved character like never before.

Andy Serkis will not only reprise Gollum but will sit in the director’s chair for the upcoming spinoff. It may have been over a decade since the last time the British actor channeled the two-sided character, but he said his famed role still hasn’t escaped him.

Gollum has always stuck with me throughout all of these years. I’ve read audio books of the trilogy and the Silmarillion and The Hobbit, so Tolkien’s world has never left me in all of that time since we did the first films. And the character particularly has remained such an enormous part of my life. So it’s absolutely thrilling to be able to go back and do a deep dive into his world again, and specifically into Gotham’s psychology. I know we’re all interested in investigating on a deeper level who that character is, and on top of that, to be able to direct and hopefully create a film which has its place within the canon, but also something that’s fresh and new and a different approach.

As The Lord of the Rings movies were in line with Andy Serkis’ best movies, it’s no wonder why the character resonated with him so much. After all, Serkis didn’t simply voice the CGI character. He did motion-capture acting, where his body movements and facial expressions were present in the CGI character. It’s hard to believe that once upon a time, he was mocked for doing Gollum motion capture, being told it would be “the end of our profession.” Luckily, he didn’t listen to his agent when he was advised against playing the iconic role, as he gave a performance that “ruled them all.”

After being a second unit director for The Hobbit films, Andy Serkis’ career continued to rise up directing ambitious movies and continuing motion capture acting. It's all the more reason why it was an easy choice for Peter Jackson to pick the Golden Globe nominee to take the reins in directing the next LOTR project.

Andy was a joy to work with directing Second Unit on The Hobbit. 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 it has been a fantastic experience. There’s no one in this earth better equipped to tackle Gollum’s story than Andy.

With a new film centered on fan-favorite Lord of the Rings character Gollum, audiences will get further exploration of his backstory and see parts of his life that weren’t covered in the Peter Jackson films. With the New Zealand director and LOTR alum Andy Serkis being part of this new fantasy film, hopefully these two won't have any trouble turning this spinoff into a masterpiece audiences will enjoy. You can watch all of The Lord of the Rings movies with your Max subscription.