Hot off the back of the unveiling of Amazon's new The Lord of the Rings original show, even more news is set to excite fans of J.R.R Tolkien's Middle-Earth-based fantasy novels. Andy Serkis, famous for his ground-breaking motion capture performance as Hobbit-turned-monster Gollum, has been announced as the narrator of a new series of The Lord of the Rings audiobooks.
Credit: New Line Cinema
Not only has Serkis played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, but also voiced Caesar in the Planet of the Apes trilogy, turned out as Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther, and Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars.
The audiobooks, which are released on 16th September, follow on from Serkis' readathon of Tolkien's first published novel from Middle-Earth, The Hobbit.
Serkis first played Gollum in The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001 and reprised his role in the two subsequent films in the trilogy - only to reappear again in The Hobbit trilogy alongside Martin Freeman as Biblo Baggins.
Speaking about his narration of Tolkien's iconic The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Serkis said: "Walking back into Middle-Earth over 20 years after my first life-changing adventure there and experiencing it all over again has brought in equal measures of pure joy, sheer madness, immense pleasure, and a level of psychological and physical fatigue I have never quite experienced the like of before."
The Lord of the Rings is undoubtedly a story of epic proportions, and Serkis felt the weight on his shoulders from the high expectations that fans of the series will have for his narration. "My only hope now, is that I have done it justice, and that the listening experience conveys the power and beauty of J.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece," he said.
Spending weeks alone in a sound booth recording narration for a trilogy of books that spans over 575,000 words in not for the faint-hearted, but from the sounds of it Serkis has taken it all in his stride, as he added: "Having now completed the quest and been 'there and back again... again,' I realise what a phenomenal privilege it has been to have had the opportunity to read this sublime work once more."
Credit: The Late Late Show
As a legendary character actor, Serkis is surely set to do justice for the trilogy, and fans can no doubt look forward to hearing Gollum's voice once again as he searches for his 'precious.'
Words: Tom Bedworth
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