Amazon is looking to drop a lot of money on its upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel series, so it wouldn’t be surprising for the company to seek out some of the films’ stars to reprise their roles to ensure audiences get hype. While some former franchise cast members would seemingly be game to appear, Andy Serkis seems to be a hard no for returning as Gollum. The actor and filmmaker expressed as much while talking to CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell about his upcoming film Mowgli, and shared his thoughts on a potential return for Amazon’s gargantuan project:
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.
In Andy Serkis’ mind, the key to Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series seems to be creating something fresh. Much like his upcoming film Mowgli, which is described as a darker adaptation of The Jungle Book, Serkis’ seems to believe that while certain elements of J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe are worth returning to for this new series, other elements should either be left alone or transformed in refreshing ways. Apparently, that means some other iteration of Gollum would need to be used, since Serkis doesn’t sound as if he’s rushing to reprise the role.
Andy Serkis may not be concerned with being asked to return as Gollum anyway, since he appears confident Amazon is looking for a fresh and re-interpretive take on the Lord of the Rings series. Recent news about the show may suggest otherwise, however, as rumors have swirled that Amazon is looking to involve the franchise’s famed director Peter Jackson in some way, though his was reportedly one of many that have been contacted by Amazon, so perhaps Serkis is right on the money with his analysis. Serkis is logical in thinking Amazon would look to build its own stable characters and storylines, rather than solely piggybacking off the original films makes sense, although that wouldn’t necessarily mean characters from the main franchise can’t make a cameo or two.
While Andy Serkis may not be too keen on reprising his beloved role, there are other Lord of the Rings actors who have expressed interest in returning. Ian McKellen stated he would be interested to return to play Gandalf, and Sean Astin appeared to be interested in a Samwise return, assuming the show could pull it off creatively. Serkis’ current unwillingness to return may be disappointing to some, but at least he had some constructive thoughts for the new show. It’s a far warmer response than John Rhys-Davies, who really let the world know he wasn’t a fan of Amazon’s latest endeavor.
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series does not have a release date at this time, but be sure to stay with CinemaBlend for any and all updates regarding the series. Andy Serkis’ Mowgli premieres in theaters on Friday, October 19. For a list of upcoming projects headed to Amazon Prime Video, check out our Amazon premiere guide. For a more generalized listing of upcoming television shows, visit our summer premiere guide.