Gollum might be considered the breakout character of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but he’s not as central to the story of The Hobbit. Actor Andy Serkis, who has portrayed Gollum in all four Tolkien films released from Peter Jackson thus far, said that he doesn’t expect his character to show up in Hobbit 2 and 3.
Serkis is back as Gollum/Smeagol in what is arguably the best scene in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the “riddles in the dark” exchange between himself and Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins. It’s an iconic scene from the book, but Gollum’s presence in Peter Jackson’s new trilogy is minor, as it was in the novel. Gollum may be central to Lord of the Rings, but he only ever got a cameo in the original tome.
But Serkis’s influence will be present on the whole of the new trilogy nonetheless, as he accepted a production role as second assistant director on the new trilogy.
“It was only four weeks before going down to reprise the role of Gollum that Pete asked me to be second unit, so it went from a two-week job to a year and a half,” Serkis said at a promotional press conference forThe Hobbit.
Freeman complimented Serkis on his new role:
“We weren’t always aware of Andy’s feelings, so we would go on to second unit, so we weren’t always aware of how stressed you might be. [Speaking to Serkis] You did a good job of being diplomatic and making us feel good.”
So even though Gollum’s appearance in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is more of a curtain-call or an encore than anything, it’s good to know that Serkis is at least involved, albeit peripherally, in the trilogy.