LOTR Gollum Movie Will Explore Parts Of His Story The Original Trilogy Didn’t Cover

LOTR Gollum Movie Will Explore Parts Of His Story The Original Trilogy Didn’t Cover

Warner Bros. is making new Lord of the Rings live-action movies, and the film studio is bringing back Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens to make them. The first of these projects is a film about Gollum in development under the working title The Hunt for Gollum, with Andy Serkis directing. Jackson recently spoke to Deadline about why he wanted to begin with a movie about Gollum and provided some clues about what to expect.

He said he’s always been fascinated by Gollum/Smeagol because of what the character represents.

“Gollum reflects the worst of human nature, whilst his Smeagol 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.”

Jackson went on to say that The Hunt for Gollum’s story will dig more into Gollum’s backstory and “delve into those parts of his journey we didn’t have time to cover in the earlier films.”

Given the film’s working title, many expect the story to focus on the period of time when Gandalf sent Aragorn on a journey to find Gollum before Sauron’s forces could. However, Jackson wouldn’t be drawn into discussing further specifics on the story or what other characters may appear.

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

Boyens, for her part, said the original Lord of the Rings trilogy “couldn’t go as deeply” as the team wanted to for Gollum, and the new movie is an opportunity to fill in the gaps.

As viewers surely recall, Return of the King begins with a sequence that shows how Smeagol became Gollum, and this was a dark and upsetting sequence where Smeagol murders his cousin and friend.

“Gollum’s life span takes place in such an interesting period of Middle-earth. When the question was first asked, this was the first story we thought of,” Boyens said. “Because I can tell you, and people might not believe this, but we had zero expectations of going back to this. It wasn’t something we were looking to do, particularly. So the when the question was asked, it was, ‘What would draw you back?'”

Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in the original series and was a second unit director on The Hobbit, is directing The Hunt for Gollum. Boyens said Serkis is the perfect person to direct the film.

“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. Andy [is] 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,” she said. “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.”

As for Serkis, he told Deadline he was “absolutely floored” to be asked to return to Middle-earth to direct The Hunt for Gollum. “They are the most hardworking people on the planet, and their search for excellence never ends, and now I get to help reach that bar again,” he said. “It was Philippa who first called me actually and said, ‘Look, this is what we’re thinking.’ And I was just flushed with a sort of, ‘Oh my God, I’m going back in there.’ Yeah, it was a terrific moment.”

He went on to say he’s excited to investigate Gollum “on a deeper level” to reveal to viewers who he really is. Serkis, too, wouldn’t comment on if other popular Lord of the Rings characters will appear in The Hunt for Gollum. He said, “I don’t want to commit anything right now. I mean, because it’s so raw and 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.”

Go to Deadline to read the full interview. The Hunt for Gollum, or whatever final title is assigned to the film, is penciled in for release in 2026.

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