Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen Are Officially Onboard For ‘The Hobbit’ [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated January 11th, 2011 at 8:43 am,

Andy Serkis to return as Gollum in The Hobbit Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen Are Officially Onboard For The Hobbit [Updated]

[UPDATE: Ian McKellen will reprise his role as Gandalf in The Hobbit]

Bringing back Andy Serkis to once again play the dual-minded, shriveled creature known as Gollum in Peter Jackson’s new venture to Middle-Earth, The Hobbit, has been a no-brainer since the project was initially announced some 50 years ago (kidding, of course, but all the delays have certainly made it feel like half a century has passed).

Serkis has reportedly closed a deal to provide the facial expressions and physical movement for the motion-capture creation that is Gollum in both Hobbit movies, which will be financed and theatrically distributed worldwide by Warner Bros.

While Serkis’ reps have yet to officially confirm his involvement with The Hobbit, Deadline says it’s a done deal – and given the universal praise surrounding Serkis’ performance as the “precious” obsessed Gollum, there is little reason to doubt that claim. Ian McKellen is still working on a deal to return as Gandalf the Grey, but that too seems like a matter of time as the actor’s turn as the wise but aged wizard was beloved by moviegoers of all creeds – and there’s never been any bad history reported¬†between the X-Men star and Jackson’s camp.

UPDATE: Heat Vision is reporting that Ian McKellen has officially signed on to reprise his role as Gandalf in both Hobbit films, which will begin shooting in New Zealand on February 14th, 2011.

Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey in The Hobbit Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen Are Officially Onboard For The Hobbit [Updated]

J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit focuses around the experiences of a young Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he, a band of 13 dwarves, and Gandalf set out on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the treasure-guarding dragon Smaug. According to Lord of the Rings canon, Bilbo recorded his grand adventure many years later in the book “The Hobbit or There and Back Again,” which – in Jackson’s films – will be read by Frodo (Elijah Wood) in the present (presumably, before his departure to the Grey Havens in Return of the King).

frodo bilbo the hobbit Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen Are Officially Onboard For The Hobbit [Updated]

Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), opposite the elderly Bibo (Ian Holm).

The flashback structure of Jackson’s Hobbit films also accounts for why Ian Holms is currently in talks to reprise his turn as the older version of Bilbo. Tolkien’s additional text about the history of Middle-Earth will also partially be covered in both Hobbit movies, which explains why the less dense novel is being recounted in two, rather than one film like each chapter in the Lord of the Rings series. This also accounts for why cast members such as Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett, and Orlando Bloom are likely to return as the wizard Saruman, the Lady Galadriel, and the elf Legolas, respectively, in both movies – despite their characters not being in the original Hobbit novel.

The Hobbit: Part 1 is scheduled to reach regular, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters on December 19th, 2012. Part 2 will arrive a year later in December of 2013.

Source: Deadline

Update Source: THR

TAGS: The hobbit
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Great news but I’m totally on the whole Flashback thing…

  2. Vic, Ian McKellen is going to return. Source:

  3. Okay if Martin Freeman is playing Billbo this time WHY is Ian Holm coming back?? That’s just too weird! But Gullum that’s obvious. But come on stop putting characters in to the film that just shouldn’t be there. We’re not dealing with flashbacks here we’re dealing with a new story. This isn’t Fellowship, this isn’t Two Towers, and this isn’t Return of the King!! This is supposed to be the Hobbit!! So make it be The Hobbit!I’m almost considering passing on it and wait for the dvd blueray at this point. I think I have the bad taste of Lambis bread in my mouth about this.

    • Ian Holm will play an older Bilbo. It’ll most likely be Biblo telling his tale for Frodo.

      • Okay but both of these characters when to the Gray Havens in return of the King. Unless they show them in the Gray Havens then I’m at a loss.

    • The real issue is this: They’ve cast Martin Freeman as a younger Bilbo Baggins – but between The Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring Bilbo doesn’t age because of the Ring. In Fellowship of the Ring Gandalf says to him “You haven’t aged a day.” Also in FOTR we see Ian Holm as Bilbo finding the Ring. I guess Ian Holm is maybe too old to play such a physical role…but he’s still in the film as the “older” Bilbo, which is the bit that makes no sense.

  4. No surprise that everyone is returning and yet each tidbit is suppose to be some huge cause for celebration. These actors have not done much since The Lord of the Rings trilogy finished.

  5. I’m very surprised Christopher Lee is going to return, he had some pretty unpleasant things to say about Peter Jackson after he cut Saruman from ROTK, in fact, I believe he said he prefered working with George Lucas!

    • Ow thats harsh lol

    • Whether there’s bad history or not, Christopher Lee is too diehard a LoTR fan to pass on the chance. He’s the one actor that was a total LoTR geek.

      • Oh I know, he’s a huge fan of the books. But damn was he unhappy with Jackson for cutting him. Extremely pissed doesnt even begin to cover it.

  6. ur guys source everytime is deadline! why do i come here when, screenrant makes my internet crash and every replay gets sent to my main e-mail, even if they didnt reply to my post?????????

  7. Awesome!!! Definitely looking forward 2 this, wat if the title of part 1 remains the Hobbit while the title of part 2 called There And Baack Again? Tat would be special 4 2-part movie….Hope the studio would win the rights for The Silmarillion some day so PJ can return 2 Middle-Earth again…..

  8. Am I the only one who is becoming increasingly worried about adding in all these new bits? I want to see the simple adventure of Bilbo traveling to the Lonely Mountain to see a dragon about some treasure (and told in its entirely) I don’t want it told through Frodo or muddled down with periodic interjections about where Legolas, Galadriel, Aragorn, or anyone else NOT in The Hobbit is.

    Also, for all the extra characters that seem to be added daily, one name appears to be conspicuously missing (and a part of the Hobbit unlike many others)…..Elrond. Will Hugo Weaving be returning???

    • I’m more than worried.

      i wanted to see The Hobbit made into a film, not LOTR Redux! The inclusion of Wood and Bloom has tipped me toward not wanting to this at all, they are shockingly bad actors, one of the worst parts of the original trilogy.

      • I would agree with Orlando Bloom, but I love Elijah Wood as an actor.

        • I havent seen any other movies with Wood other than Sin City and the LOTR but he aint that good to me (him and the guy who played Sam nearly ruined the ROTK for me) and Bloom isnt good at all.

          But why havent we heard on Hugo returning as Elrond, is it because he is busy right now with Captain America and when he gets unbusy he will sign or what?

          • I don’t think Bloom has even been in a film for several years. Which is a good thing.

      • Like or hate Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom, they won’t be major parts of the Hobbit movies. I wouldn’t get too upset.

        • Yes but Orlando Bloom in any capacity is upsetting to me. Even typing his name makes my fingers sting.

  9. This is by far the best news we’ve heard all month.

  10. I think the “Princess Bride” tack they’re putting on these movies is actually a very good idea. Since chronologically in real life, the Lord of the Rings movies will have come before The Hobbit movies, it will be less confusing overall for the casual audience.

    I approve and can’t wait to see the final results. I am glad they are finally getting around to this before it was too late.

  11. now all we need (as far as returning lotr characters who actually appear in the novel is concerned) is Hugo Weaving

  12. yeahhh

  13. Ok, I was getting very frustrated at all the hobbit casting news, figuring they were going to screw it all up, with all of these lotr characters returning. But, once again I will back up a little and remind myself that no film is ever going to get it “exactly right”. Not sure thats even possible. I loved lotr, but I also didn’t like the things they left out and the things they changed. Nevertheless it was a great three movies. I would RATHER have the hobbit just the way it was written, but I’m going to have to trust Peter Jackson and enjoy a great movie. Looking forward to going back to middle earth.

  14. Of course they were all going to return. It’s a big paycheck. Not like any of these actors had other franchises eating out of their hands since the last Middle Earth film.

  15. Slightly off topic here, but even though i am indifferent to these LOTR movies, i seriously recommend that people check out Andy Serkis’ work in movies such as Deathwatch and The Cottage – he is one scary little man.

    PS I can see him doing a great Captain Haddock in the Tintin movie.

  16. If my memory serves me right Aragorn was in the book? Is Viggo Mortensen reprising that role or is it yet to be confirmed or denied?

    • Aragorn isnt in the book, but his story does take place during the events of The Hobbit, I’d be very surprised if both Viggo and Liv Tyler are not brought back in some capacity.

      • Viggo and Liv Tyler are coming back? Is it just me or are we descending in roughly this order? 1 The Hobbit the book 2 The Hobbit the movie 3The Hobbit movie based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien 4Peter Jacksons version of The Hobbit 5 Tolkien didnt know what he was doing, here we present you with the completely rewritten, assed up, commercially correct, sequel to the blockbuster hit , The Lord Of The Rings.