They’ve both been ‘there and back again’, and  Peter Jackson and Andy Serkis know Middle Earth extremely well and THR are reporting that Serkis will serve as the second unit director on the Hobbit 1 and 2, as well as reprising his role as ring-obsessed Gollum.

Serkis has already completed filming his Gollum scenes, and the role, he admits, never really left him. Indeed, his interpretation in the Lord of the Rings saga had received praise for being surprisingly realistic and heartfelt – you couldn’t help feeling a little bit sorry for poor Smeagol, a former hobbit turned into some sort of monster-like, ruthless creature by his attraction to the evil ring.

He admits that “when we created Gollum the first time, performance capture was it its infancy”, which suggests this time, roughly ten years after and with more advanced technology (including 3-D), we should expect an even more vivid experience – although, fear not, Gollum will be the same.

So now, after an email from Peter Jackson, Andy Serkis has agreed to double up as director for the Hobbit, something which for him is as exciting as it is out of the blue but will corroborate his previous directing experiences and surely pave the way for future projects.

Report by Margherita Pellegrino