Roughly a month ago, it was revealed that Amazon Studios acquired the television rights to J.R.R Tolkien’s best-selling series, The Lord of the Rings, for $250 million. It was also specified that Peter Jackson, who won Best Director at the 76th Academy Awards for The Return of the King, has the option to board the series as an executive producer.
Jackson has yet to either confirm or deny his involvement with the project, but another significant player from Middle-earth has been reached for comment regarding whether or not he’ll be returning for Amazon’s small screen adaptation. And that’d be Andy Serkis.
The actor, who portrayed Gollum/Smeagol in The Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy, divulged to Cinema Blend recently that he doesn’t think he’ll be reprising his role, unfortunately. When asked if he would return to play Gollum, Serkis made it clear that it’s not something he’d be interested in doing, saying.
“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.”
While Serkis’ confirmation of his departure from the part is unquestionably disappointing, I can’t say that I’m surprised. I’d even go so far as to say that I agree with his “reinterpretation” remark. The Amazon Studios series, produced alongside the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema, is an opportunity to delve deeper into Tolkien’s extensive legendarium, one that cannot be passed up.
Circling back to the report detailing the Amazon Studios purchase, though, and it suggests that, in addition to that ludicrous acquisition fee, production costs could push the series’ total to $1 billion. Although Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy earned close to $3 billion at the worldwide box office, a ten-figure gamble is risky no matter how you frame it, so it’ll be interesting to see if this ends up paying off for the company.
Source: Heroic Hollywood