Andy Serkis won't be returning for the Lord of the Rings TV series, although he has only good things to say about the concept. The series, which was announced in November, has been confirmed as a prequel series - but that's all that we know for now. There has been speculation about every aspect of the upcoming TV show, from the possibility that it could be an adaptation of the Silmarillion, to potential connections to the Lord of the Rings film franchise, or even the possibility that Peter Jackson may return to this world.
Various stars of the original films have also weighed in on the debate around the new series, with some (like Sean Astin) staying politely on the fence, while others (like John Rhys Davies) openly unimpressed by the idea. Now, some of the actors are talking about the possibility of returning to the screen as their original characters. And while Sir Ian McKellen has scoffed at the idea of anyone else playing Gandalf, Andy Serkis is much less enthused about reprising his role as Gollum.
In an interview with ScreenCrush about his latest role in Black Panther, Serkis said that he doesn't see himself as a part of a Lord of the Rings series, because it's going to be something totally new.
Oh gosh, I have no idea what that’s about, really. I mean, it sounds incredible, but I don’t see myself being any part of it. I don’t think they would – I think it’s a completely fresh, new approach to it all, so I don’t think I’d imagine myself to be anywhere near it really.
Serkis also said that he thinks we've 'pretty much' seen all of Gollum's backstory already. The character was well-explored in the Lord of the Rings films, from his time as one of the River Folk to the moment that he found the One Ring (and the power within it that drove him mad). His obsession with the Ring, torture at the hands of Sauron, attempts to become Smeagol again, and eventual death are all a huge part of the films already. Even the moment that he loses the Ring to Bilbo (Martin Freman) has been shown - so unless the Lord of the Rings series wanted to expand on his life obsessing over the Ring in a cave, or his time as Smeagol before finding the Ring, there isn't much more to say.
It's also important to note that Serkis has said that he "has no idea" about the series - clearly, he hasn't been asked to return, and there is no confirmation that Gollum/Smeagol would appear in any way in the upcoming show. It will be interesting to see how other actors from the original films feel about joining the series (if they are asked), although it's likely that a few more details about the concept and time period are going to be revealed before casting gets underway!
The Lord Of The Rings TV series does not yet have a release date.