For a lot of people, Andy Serkis’ performance as Gollum/Sméagol in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy was their favorite part of the whole collection. That said, it comes as little surprise that fans would cross their fingers about the actor possibly reprising his role for Amazon Studios’ Lord of the Rings television series. Unfortunately, diehard enthusiasts shouldn’t hold their breath, as Serkis likely won’t be making such a return.
Speaking in a recent interview with ScreenCrush, during which he discussed his work in the forthcoming Marvel movie Black Panther, Serkis explained that he doesn’t see himself climbing aboard the Lord of the Rings show since the concept is going to be something completely different from what he was a part of. He also implied that his character, the ring-bearing creature who was once a predecessor of the Stoorish Hobbits, may not have a place in the series’ new narrative.
“Oh gosh, I have no idea what that’s about, really,” the actor said when asked about the planned project. “I mean, it sounds incredible, but I don’t see myself being any part of it … 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 added that viewers have “pretty much” seen all of Gollum’s backstory in the Peter Jackson-directed film collection, so there wouldn’t be much else to explore in the small-screen project.
While Serkis took a level-headed stance in responding to the Lord of the Rings series buzz, his film co-star told Den of Geek how he really feels about the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien story getting the small-screen treatment. John Rhys-Davies, who played the well-respected dwarven warrior Gimli, called the impending adaptation a “disgrace,” slamming the minds behind the project as “utterly unprincipled and greedy for money.”
He continued, expressing his confusion over the purpose behind such a show. “You know they have the money to do it. Why we quite need Lord of the Rings as a TV series baffles me slightly,” said Rhys-Davies “I mean, poor Tolkien must be spinning in his grave.”
The actor then gave his own suggestion for crafting a Lord of the Rings series. “I’ve got a better idea for [Amazon], or for any company. Lord of the Rings spun off an awful lot of imitations about elves and dwarves and things like that, and I would simply buy those up and put them together,” Rhys-Davies stated. “There was a trilogy of books that [was] given to me the other day by a lady author, who’d written an account of the adventures of a dwarvish lady. That would make a far more interesting account of Tolkien’s words, in a world like that … You know there are hundreds and hundreds of young writers who have made their contributions, and if was a well-heeled film producer, that’s where I’d be looking, because that gives more actors more chances and it’s still a great tribute to Tolkien. It costs less to make and it would be original and fresh.”
Even with Serkis most likely out (and Rhys-Davies definitely not involved), there’s still hope for a few original movie actors to join the Lord of the Rings TV series.