It’s been an excellent year for master motion-capture performer Andy Serkis, between his acclaimed turn as the ape Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and his (already well-liked) role as Captain Haddock in Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin.
The actor’s win streak shouldn’t be broken anytime soon, seeing how he’ll soon return in CGI-enhanced form once again – this time, as the miserable Gollum in Peter Jackson’s two-movie adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Serkis informed IGN that the first Hobbit theatrical preview is “just around the corner” and should be released by “around Christmas  time.” While the actor was uncertain about exactly which upcoming holiday flick would feature the Hobbit trailer, the most likely candidates include fellow Warner Bros.’ production Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and the Tintin movie, which Jackson produced.
What with the Hobbit teaser, the Dark Knight Rises‘ prologue, and new previews for other highly-anticipated 2012 releases (ex. the full-length Amazing Spider-Man trailer) potentially being released during the 2011 holiday season, there’s arguably more excitement for the upcoming slate of theatrical promos than regular releases – all things considered.
Besides his mo-cap acting duties, Serkis is also serving as a second unit director on Jackson’s Hobbit films. Here is what he had to offer IGN, concerning the experience:
“It’s quite fascinating. I’m having a ball. It’s a huge operation, really. We’re on the road at the moment, at various different locations on South Island in New Zealand. There are some truly remarkable landscapes that we’re filming in. It’s just stunning.”
On the matter of The Hobbit being shot at twice the normal frame rate (via the use of RED EPIC 3D cameras):
“It’s unlike anything I have ever seen before. The brain has become so attuned to watching films at 24 frames a second. This is something completely different. It’s incredible. You feel inside it and surrounded by it. It’s really great. People will not be disappointed.”
3D has (understandably) earned a bad rap over the past year, given the plethora of post-converted releases that did little to nothing creative or innovative with the technology. Hopefully, between Jackson’s Hobbit movies and other upcoming 3D projects from high-caliber directors (ex. Spielberg’s Tintin adaptation, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi) that trend will start to reverse itself in the future.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrives in U.S. theaters on December 14th, 2012.
The Hobbit: There and Back Again will hit U.S. theaters on December 13th, 2013.