Warner Bros. Unveils ‘Lord of the Rings’ Film Directed by Andy Serkis

Warner Bros. will release its first new live-action “The Lord of the Rings” film in 2026, titled “Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum.” The film will focus on Andy Serkis’ Gollum and marks the beginning of a new era for Middle-earth fans.

Peter Jackson, who directed the original “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, will produce the film alongside Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. According to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, the trio “will be involved every step of the way.” The project is in its early stages, with Walsh, Boyens, Phoebe Gittins, and Arty Papageorgiou developing the script.

In addition to producing, Serkis will reprise his role as Gollum and direct the movie. Ken Kamins will executive produce, alongside Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish from The Imaginarium.

Expanding Middle-earth

Warner Bros. initially announced the new batch of films in February 2023, when studio leaders Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy secured a deal to produce “multiple” films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” The projects will be developed under the New Line Cinema banner, in collaboration with Freemode, a division of Embracer Group that holds the adaptive rights through Middle-earth Enterprises.

De Luca and Abdy expressed their excitement over the new project:
“For over two decades, moviegoers have embraced the ‘Lord of the Rings’ film trilogy because of the undeniable devotion Peter, Fran, and Philippa 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. We are honored they have agreed to be our partners on these two new films. With Andy coming aboard to direct ‘Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum,’ 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.”

A Reunion in Middle-earth

Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens added, “It is an honor 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 lifelong 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!”

Serkis himself expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity: “Yesssss, Precious. The time has come once more to venture into the unknown with my dear friends, the extraordinary and incomparable guardians of Middle Earth, Peter, Fran, and Philippa. With Mike and Pam, and the Warner Bros. team on the quest as well, alongside WETA and our filmmaking family in New Zealand, it’s just all too delicious…”

A Legacy of Success

Jackson’s original “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide and was nominated for 30 Academy Awards, winning 17, including Best Picture for 2003’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” His “The Hobbit” trilogy matched that success.

Expanding the World of Middle-earth

Alongside “The Hunt for Gollum,” Warner Bros. will release the animated “The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim,” directed by Kenji Kamiyama, on December 13, 2024. Set 200 years before “The Hobbit,” the film will explore new corners of Tolkien’s mythology.

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