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Andy Serkis is Also Working as Second Unit Director on 'The Hobbit'

by
April 6, 2011
Source: THR

Andy Serkis

Looks like Gollum has more than two sides. THR reports that actor Andy Serkis, who is returning to play Gollum/Smeagol in both of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit movies, is also going to work as the second unit director on the two films, which are currently shooting in New Zealand. "There is really a sense of Peter wanting people around him who totally understand the material and the work ethic," Serkis told THR. We reported last year that Serkis was going to make his directing debut on an unnamed "psychological thriller," but with The Hobbit underway, it looks like he'll have to sharpen his skills working with Peter Jackson first.

"I think I understand Peter's sensibility and we have a common history of understanding Middle Earth," Serkis said. "A lot of the crew from The Lord of the Rings was returning to work on The Hobbit. There is really a sense of Peter wanting people around him who totally understand the material and the work ethic." Apparently Serkis didn't even apply for the job, he just got asked. "When Peter asked me. There was this email out of the blue. It was a fantastic surprise." And what are his duties? Besides performance capture, it "encompasses a lot of directing aspects of filmmaking and story. Yes, there is some performance capture, but I will be very much on the live action sets and locations helping Peter to tell the story." Sounds perfect!

As someone who is already crazy excited for The Hobbit, I can't pass up including more of Serkis' quotes from the THR piece, as he talks a bit about everything, from 3D to how different/fresh it will feel, to Gollum and pushing the performance capture boundaries again. Here's a few more Hobbit details from Andy Serkis:

"The learning curve is The Hobbit is being shot in 3D," he added, noting that the 3D would be used "dramatically, to give a point of view."

"In the same way Lord of the Rings was an interpretation of the book, The Hobbit is being treated the same way," Serkis said. "It will be faithfully represented with a fresh interpretation."

"When we created Gollum the first time, performance capture was it its infancy," he said, noting that today, "within the industry, there is more appreciation for it as an acting art form. It's all about character, learning what the character thinks, feels, how he carries pain." Serkis said it's "thrilling" to reprise the role of Gollum. "I was looking forward to doing it. He never really left me."

This is all just so fantastic to hear. It's easy to see there is already a tremendous amount of passion being put towards The Hobbit, which hopefully means this is going to turn out as good as if not better than Lord of the Rings. Serkis also stars in Rise of the Apes as Caesar and Jackson/Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn as Captain Haddock, but he will get back to directing that live-action feature once work on The Hobbit is complete. He's also launching a performance capture studio and training center, dubbed The Imaginarium, which will produce its own material as well as service other projects. Serkis is an awesome guy and I've seen some of his work in Apes and I can't wait to see him in that, too. This is just great news all around to report on. We'll definitely continue to keep you updated on all things The Hobbit!

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  • That is incredibly exciting, I love Andy Serkis.
  • El Hoopso
    Looking at that picture, does anyone else think Andy S would make a better Wolverine?
    • Chris A.
      a perfectly schitzo wolverine. He looks pretty badass though.
    • Yea he's pretty badass, but I dunno, I'm happy with him delivering amazing performances as Gollum, Caesar and Haddock. He really is the best in the world at those kind of roles.
      • El Hoopso
        oh of course he's amazing in what he's already doing! I'm just saying if they ever need another Logan, he would be my choice for sure
  • Anonymous
    Dude so much RESPECT for that guy... He really is just an amazing actor and worker If motion capture was at its "infancy" in LotR, then I cant imagine how badass it will be with The Hobbit!
  • Yep, Serkis is the man. I'm glad his work has paid off.
  • SNEARS
    To hear Serkis is going to be 2nd unit director is like hearing Chuck Norris is going to be a Lieutenant in the attack against Gaddafi. Can't wait!
  • Directing : This a a good news ... Not that I have no faith in ( Peter Jackson ) .. He know what to do specially for this kind of movies ... I just want to mention he made a big mistake making ( The Lovely Bones ) .. It was not his movie for sure but again it came out fine .... However I just want to mention that ( Andy Serkis ) will be a great help and he is one of the most respected movie makers I know ... there are many Second unite directors in the world that audience never heard about them ... Example ( Simon Crane ) .. who make the movie ( Troy 2004 ) look that great .. otherwise ( Wolfgang Petersen ) was just directing the speech scenes in first unite ... While ( Simon Crane ) was making and preparing the massive scenes of fights and attacks in second unite .. Simon Crane 's work : http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0186426/ ---------------------------- The Movie : Again I wish this movie will be great because I know how much fans of Hobbits are waiting for this ... But with all my respect I have no expectations for this movie .. I am just waiting to be surprised ... and the reason is : what we can see more in Hobbits .. after we saw in the trilogy of Lord of the Rings ... I am more than agree for this movie to be made ... but without any expectations .. Hope the fans do the same just to not be shocked IF this look less than the LOTR trilogy .... 😉 But again ... Hope they do a great movie and surprise us all 😉

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