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A new, Gollum-centric Lord of the Rings movie is coming, and we can only hope it's better than the game

Andy Serkis is also back, and my head hurts.

Gollum in The Lord of the Rings
Image credit: New Line Cinema

Hey, remember when Embracer gobbled up Middle-earth Enterprises and the rights to both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit across all forms of media? Well, a new movie is now in active development as promised, and it's about... Gollum.

This announcement (via Variety), which arrived on May 9, shouldn't be blindsiding anyone, as Embracer had expressed active interest in developing a new batch of movies as soon as they gained control of the renowned IP. In early 2023, we learned they and New Line Cinema, who'd already handled all six previous Peter Jackson-directed epics, had joined forces to develop the new projects. Now, we also know that Peter Jackson and his creative partners are directly involved in the development of the Gollum-centric prequel tentatively titled The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum.

The traditional collaboration isn't just bringing back Jackson as producer, as his longtime collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are also producing and helping develop the script alongside Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou; both had co-written The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, an animated movie set to release this Christmas, before the Embracer acquisition.

Unsurprisingly, together with the premise comes the recruitment of Andy Serkis jumping back into his most famous role ever and also directing the movie after helming Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, two releases that weren't exactly bright, but had a bit of style to them at least. To be fair, if this is the movie Warner Bros. Discovery and Embracer want to move forward with, he deserves to direct it, as it's hard to imagine Jackson's take on the character without him.

As it stands, Warner Bros. Discovery and Embracer aim to get this one out in 2026, though a more specific release window hasn't been provided. If plans don't change, Christmas 2026 would be a likely spot, as Disney and Lucasfilm are likely to delay the Star Wars movie (likely the Rey-centric one) currently dated for December 18, plus the fourth Avatar will be nowhere near ready to cover for it.

Despite the talent attached to the project, a Gollum prequel is one of the least attractive Lord of the Rings movies we can think of even if we do love the little freak. This also does confirm our fears that Embracer and WB Discovery don't have any exciting ideas for IP at this point and will be just be churning out random spinoffs based on iconic characters for the foreseeable. We wish Serkis the best of luck, but this is feeling more like The Lord of the Slop at the moment. That said, it can't be worse than last year's studio-killing game, right?

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