In addition to reprising his role as Gollum, actor Andy Serkis is set to work as a second unit director on Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. What that means is that since there’s so much to shoot and Jackson can’t possibly get to all of it himself, he’s delegating responsibility on stuff like wide shots and close-ups and other relatively simple stuff that helps glue scenes together. Serkis tells Heat Vision,
“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.”
Of course this isn’t quite the same journey, especially since 3D is bring thrown into the mix. Hit the jump for more details on Serkis’ directing work. The Hobbit: Part I is due out December 2012 and The Hobbit: Part II is due out December 2013.
Serkis previously directed motion capture work on the video game Heavenly Sword and he plans to direct a live-action feature when he’s finished work on The Hobbit. However, he says he won’t only be directing motion-capture work in the upcoming prequel:
“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.”
Serkis also adds that 3D provides its own learning curve and that it will be used in The Hobbit, “dramatically, to give a point of view”, whatever that means.
Finally, when it comes to reprising his role as Gollum, Serkis says The Hobbit will offer fans a look at the character in his “truest form” and that “he is a very much a Gollum that people will recognize.”