Andy Serkis had many people screaming for him to be nominated for an Academy Award for his performance capture work as the creature Gollum in director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. He also went on help Jackson bring to life the most realistic and personality-filled King Kong we’ve ever seen using the same performance capture techniques.
Now Serkis has rejoined Jackson for the two-part adaptation of The Hobbit, which has now begun filming in New Zealand. But becoming Gollum once again will not be all that the actor is doing this time around. It’s being reported that Serkis will be used as Jackson’s second unit director on the film.
This isn’t the first time the actor will take on a job “behind the camera,” if you will. Along with motion capture and voice work on the video games Heavenly Sword and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, he also acted as a dramatic director and a story writer as well.
Of the announcement, here’s what Serkis had to say:
I think I understand Peter’s sensibility and we have a common history of understanding Middle Earth. A lot of the crew from The Lord of the Rings was returning to work on The Hobbit. There is really a sense of Peter wanting people around him who totally understand the material and the work ethic.
It is wide ranging and encompasses a lot of directing aspects of filmmaking and story. Yes, there is some performance capture, but I will be very much on the live action sets and locations helping Peter to tell the story.
Part one of the two-part Hobbit production is currently slated for release on December 19, 2012.