Andy Serkis isn't interested in returning to his role as Gollum in Amazon's new Lord of the Rings TV series. The actor thinks that the show's writers will likely "create something brand new," rather than revisit the film trilogy's adaptations of the books' classic characters.
We've known since November that a live-action Lord of the Rings TV series is in development at Amazon Studios with a multi-season commitment. Though the series has a proposed budget of $500 million, the cost could reach $1 billion, and that number already includes the $250 million spent on acquiring the rights and efforts to outbid Netflix. The series is expected to serve as a prequel, and won't simply be another retelling of the events in the original trilogy of novels.
In an interview with CinemaBlend to promote Mowgli, Andy Serkis talks about the possibility of the actor coming back to play Gollum. It appears that fans shouldn't hold their breaths on seeing Serkis lend his talents to the character for a sixth time.
Oh boy, listen, I mean...I don't think so. And if I was anyone making those, they're obviously going to want to start fresh and create something brand new. And that's how it should be. That's what you do with great, classic pieces of work. Like [The Jungle Book]. It bears repetition, and it bears reinterpretation. And I think it needs a fresh pair of ears and eyes, and I'm sure that's the way they'll go.
Serkis' optimism toward the series is a far cry from John Rhys-Davies' reaction. Rhys-Davies, who played Gimli in the film trilogy, said that J.R.R. Tolkien must be "spinning in his grave" over the idea, and called the writers "unprincipled and greedy for money." Rhys-Davies felt that the writers should instead look to material that hadn't already been adapted to TV or film. Serkis, on the other hand, seems to believe that the creators of the series will attempt to do something fresh and original with the show.
Serkis' disinterest in playing Gollum again may not actually matter in the long run, depending on what part of the original story the show will be a prequel to. If the show isn't connected to the One Ring, an appearance from Gollum would seem unnecessary.
The show may actually be centered on a completely separate portion of the books. A new report suggests that the series will feature a younger version of Aragorn, who was played by Viggo Mortensen in the films. If the show does indeed focus on Aragorn's early adventures, there won't be any reason for us to see Gollum or the One Ring.
It looks like we won't be seeing Andy Serkis back as Gollum, but Ian McKellan reprising his role as Gandalf hasn't been ruled out, and there's a chance Peter Jackson could come aboard as a producer.