New Lord of the Rings movies coming; Peter Jackson and Andy Serkis making a Gollum spin-off

Andy Serkis is set to both stars in and direct a new Lord of the Rings movie centring around Gollum, with Peter Jackson producing.

Last Updated on May 20, 2024

gollum movie

UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long. Apparently, the first new Lord of the Rings movie we’ll be seeing from WB will be a Gollum spin-off feature starring Andy Serkis, who will also direct. The film, which is called Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum is set for 2026, and in addition to Serkis, the film will also boast a screenplay by original LOTR writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Peter Jackson will produce. Here’s the official release from WB (via Deadline):

“For over two-decades, moviegoers have embraced the Lord of the Rings film trilogy because of the undeniable devotion Peter, Fran and Philippa have shown towards protecting the legacy of Tolkien’s works, and to ensure audiences could experience the incredible world he created in a way that honors his literary vision. We are honored they have agreed be our partners on these two new films. With Andy coming aboard to direct Lord of the RingsThe Hunt for Gollum(*WT), we continue an important commitment to excellence that is a true hallmark of how we all want to venture ahead and further contribute to the Lord of the Rings cinematic history.”

It’s worth noting that Serkis’s motion-capture performance as Gollum has widely been seen as a watershed moment for VFX, and in the years since the actor has become established as the pre-eminent mo-cap performer, with him memorably playing Caesar in the Planet of the Apes films, while also honing his skill as a director with Breathe, Mowgli, and Venom: There Will Be Carnage.

ORIGINAL POST: According to a new report in THR, WB is in the early planning stages of a new Lord of the Rings film, and apparently, none other than Peter Jackson is involved. While the early details are sketchy (at best), during WB’s first quarter earnings call on Thursday, CEO David Zaslav teased the director’s involvement, stating Jackson and his longtime collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens “will be involved every step of the way.” No news yet on what exactly will be tackled, but Zaslav teased that the new film would “explore storylines yet to be told.”

Indeed, Lord of the Rings is a franchise Hollywood seems bent on re-establishing. The issue is that the rights are quite fractured, with Amazon owning the TV rights and mid-way through their own epic TV prequel to the saga, which sports their largest budget to date. Fan reaction to the first season was largely tepid, but the streamer is full-steam ahead on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2, which is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s appendices.

Meanwhile, WB does have a Lord of the Rings feature coming out this year, in the guise of The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, an animated film with Phillipa Boyens on-board as a producer. It’s set for a December 13th, 2024 release. 

Jackson’s involvement in the proposed WB movies is interesting, although it’s telling that his involvement isn’t specified. Will he direct the films or be on board as a producer? Jackson’s relationship with the franchise has been fraught at times, with the Tolkien Estate specifying that he does not have any involvement in the Rings of Power series. Indeed, some of Tolkien’s heirs took issue with Jackson’s film, which is a bizarre stance given how they brought Tolkien’s work to a massive new audience and probably made everyone involved with the estate very rich. The mixed reaction to The Rings of Power likely showed everyone that making new Lord of the Rings isn’t so easy and that his involvement shouldn’t be taken for granted, as he really is the master of Middle Earth storytelling. 

What do you think of Peter Jackson’s proposed return to the franchise? Let us know in the comments. 

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.