Apr 8, 2011

Posted by in Peter Jackson | 16 Comments

Andy Serkis to serve as Second Unit Director

Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis

As was first reported in the Hollywood Reporter, Andy Serkis, who played the iconic Gollum in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, has been tapped by Jackson to serve as second unit director on the two Hobbit films, which are now in production in New Zealand. Serkis will, of course, also be reprising his role as Gollum in The Hobbit.

“I think I understand Peter’s sensibility and we have a common history of understanding Middle Earth,” Serkis told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Read the full piece here.

  1. GillGalad says:

    PJ will need the back up, so that’s good news.

  2. Jasmine says:

    I really don’t know what to say…But it doesn’t seem wise…

  3. I wonder why PJ would make him a second unit director (even though he worked with the crew on TLOFTR)? Does he even have any experience as a director? Hopefully PJ knows what hes doing.

  4. Underdog says:

    Is thehobbitblog just going to be a repeat of the news on TORN? Can we get an interview of Serkis by The Hobbit Team rather than a link to an article about it?


  6. Mister Jingles says:

    If Sir Peter Jackson chose him for this job I think that Andy Serkis is the appropriate person! Considering his genious interpretation of Gollum I think that Andy Serkis is very intelligent and that he shall surprise us with this second task aswell!

  7. theenlighted says:

    I think Andy will do a great job! He’s doing it with passion like Peter, I’m sure. Andy is very much experienced in acting and concious about what Fran, Philipa and Peter want with their script.

  8. John McB says:

    Two films? “The Hobbit” is a short book. He’s going to have to inject a bunch of junk that will ruin the classic. I’m not happy.

  9. This is such great news! Congrats Andy!

  10. Go Andy!

  11. withywindle says:

    I don’t know too much about Andy Serkis directing abilities but his contribution to acting is second to none.

    “There is really a sense of Peter wanting people around him who totally understand the material and the work ethic.”

    I agree, taking into consideration his health and wellbeing and the scope of the project this would make sense to take on board a second unit director.

    Well done to Andy.

    I am eagerly looking forward to seeing both movies

  12. Serkis will play a character that has an important, but short time window in the story. I’m sure it will be more flushed out, but Golem and the ring are not known to be significant in The Hobbit.

    So if you have a guy that you work well with, that is steeped in the legend of the content, that has been involved with your style of film making, and experienced more than anyone in the technical practices and demands of this type of film making, and will not be required for mocap/performance 100% of the time, why not.

    PJ will see the daily’s, if they suck he can advise or replace him. But with a great cast that is talented and a production team that has worked together for up to 7 years on the last project, to acclaimed success, is there a better environment to let a trusted and hugely talented actor have a go? Especially on second unit stuff.

    At the end of the day I’m sure it boils down to this:

    The Wingnut/Weta production model, once started, is a tsunami of non stop work. Would it be easier and more beneficial to try and find a director who will not freak out once he realizes what is expected, and gamble on that persons passion for the content, personality cohesiveness, understanding of the pace and commitment level, or take somebody who is battle-hardened in these practices, what is expected, how they work and try him out as a second unit director.

    And if that person is a talented actor, with passion for the content, does that not make it an even better idea?

    It is not like this production hasn’t been blind sided and delayed by unforeseeable wild cards a half dozen times already.

    Does anyone think that PJ will ever say “The second unit stuff is weak, I could re-shoot it, but having the film be incredible is less important than telling Andy Serkis that his stuff isn’t that great”

    If the script is great and the cast is great, I am sure Andy Serkis will do perfectly wonderful, and I am sure PJ thinks so too.

    Remember, these films will not be allowed to be late. The faster they move, the more they can put in, the better it will look, the more perfected every detail and performance will be.

    PJ has this movie in his head. He knows what needs to be done, and how long it takes, and how long he will need to do all the tasks. There is as much certainty of the process as can be expected.

    But to pull it off they need to keep moving, slowing down to acclimate a newbie to the psychotic demands of a PJ/Tolkien movie is more of a liability to awesomeness than a proven actor jumping behind the camera.

    GO ANDY!!!

  13. I cannot wait for this. Have you checked out his Facebook page? It’s so cool! Except everyone is freakin out over the Itaril thing though. I seem to b the only one thinkin it might be kinda cool to have her in there as long as she doesn’t take too much away from the story. Is anyone with me?

  14. PS I totally trust PJ w/ everything. He is awesome and I think this will be a big hit, not to mention that I will be watching it EVERY MONTH BECAUSE IT WILL B SO FREAKING AWESOME!

  15. Thomas Peter Sarr says:

    So Much I would love to work on this film and this studio. It would be a great move from Broadway shows. Films are forever, and the theatre, though thrilling in the moment, is a fleeting thing. The video was inspiring to see the blessings on this soundstage and production. Cheers to this Hobbit Group!
    (And is Peter Jackson turning into a Hobbit? Almost did not recognize him>)


  1. Sean T. Collins - This is pretty neat

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