New Lord of the Rings Movie To Focus on ‘The Hunt for Gollum’

Warner Bros. is set to release the first of its new live-action “The Lord of the Rings” projects in 2026, centering around Andy Serkis’ portrayal of Gollum.

Peter Jackson, along with collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, is on board to produce the film, and they will be actively involved throughout the process, according to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav during a recent earnings call.

The screenplay is being developed by Walsh and Boyens, joined by Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou, with plans to delve into previously untold stories, as Zaslav mentioned.

Warner Bros. issued a press release on Thursday revealing the movie’s working title, “Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum,” directed by and featuring Serkis in the role he famously portrayed.

Ken Kamins will executive produce the film, alongside Serkis and Jonathan Cavendish of The Imaginarium.

In February 2023, Warner Bros. disclosed that studio chiefs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy had secured a deal to produce “multiple” films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s revered novels.

These films will be produced under the Warner Bros. banner New Line Cinema. Freemode, part of Embracer Group, facilitated the rights acquisition from Middle-earth Enterprises for titles including “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.”

Additionally, an animated feature titled “The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim” is scheduled for release on December 13, directed by Kenji Kamiyama. This film is set two centuries prior to “The Hobbit.”

“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 ensuring audiences could experience the incredible world he created in a way that honors his literary vision,” De Luca and Abdy said in a statement.

“We are honored they have agreed to be our partners on these two new films. With Andy coming aboard to direct ‘Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum,’ 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.”

Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens shared their excitement about re-entering Middle-earth with Serkis, hinting at Gollum’s unresolved storyline and expressing their pride in collaborating once more on an epic journey.

“Yesssss, Precious,” Serkis said. “The time has come once more to venture into the unknown with my dear friends, the extraordinary and incomparable guardians of Middle Earth, Peter, Fran, and Philippa. With Mike and Pam, and the Warner Bros team on the quest as well, alongside WETA and our filmmaking family in New Zealand, it’s just all too delicious…”

The original “Lord of the Rings” films, directed by Jackson, collectively earned nearly $3 billion worldwide. Jackson’s subsequent “The Hobbit” trilogy achieved similar financial success.

Jackson’s first trilogy, featuring stars like Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen, received 30 Academy Award nominations and won 17, including Best Picture for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”