Andy Serkis as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings

Fans Already Have a Plot Theory for Warner Bros’ New ‘Lord of the Rings’ Movie

During its first-quarter earnings conference call, Warner Bros. Discovery announced it was officially developing a new Lord of the Rings movie, Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum.

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The film will mark the first live-action Lord of the Rings movie in a decade. It comes at just the right time, as the franchise has recently made a significant comeback. First, Amazon released the live-action TV series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which is loosely based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s work. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. actually already has another movie in the works with the animated The Lord of the Rings: The War of Rohirrim set to premiere on December 13, 2024.

The first indication of a new live-action movie came when Warner Bros. secured a deal with the rights holders Embracer Group AB a year ago. Many were curious whether the studio intended to remake the original films or create new stories in Middle-earth, similar to The Rings of Power and The War of Rohirrim. There was also quite a bit of skepticism, as few believe any adaptation could ever top Peter Jackson’s original trilogy. Now, Warner Bros. has finally unveiled its plans for the new movie.

Warner Bros. reveals its Lord of the Rings plans

Warner Bros. is planning multiple films set in the Lord of the Rings franchise, but the first one to roll out will be Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum. The film is aiming for a 2026 release date, although it is still in the very early stages of development. According to the studio, the script for the movie is currently being worked on.

Gollum is one of the most beloved Lord of the Rings characters, as the fallen Stoor Hobbit who yearns endlessly for The Ring. He was even further popularized by Andy Serkis, who brought the character to life by providing his voice and motion capture for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. For many fans, Gollum wouldn’t be the same without Serkis, which is why it’s so exciting that Serkis is returning to portray the character and direct the movie. While he is most well known for his critically acclaimed motion capture acting, Serkis made his directorial debut in 2017 with Breathe and went on to direct Venom: Let There Be Carnage. His understanding of motion capture work and the character Gollum bodes well for the film.

In addition to Serkis, Peter Jackson is returning as a producer on The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum along with The Lord of the Rings original screenwriters Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh. In a statement, Serkis said of the new movie:

Yesssss, Precious. The time has come once more to venture into the unknown with my dear friends, the extraordinary and incomparable guardians of Middle-earth Peter, Fran and Philippa,” added Serkis. “With Mike and Pam, and the Warner Bros team on the quest as well, alongside WETA and our film making family in New Zealand, it’s just all too delicious… 

Aside from Serkis, no casting announcements have been made for The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum. Also, no plot details have been released at this time. While the film will obviously focus on a solo Gollum story, it’s unclear what material the movie is adapting or drawing inspiration from. However, internet users have a theory about the plot. In The Lord of the Rings book, there is mention of how Aragorn once managed to capture Gollum and tried to take him to Mirkwood before he escaped. Hence, many users theorize that the movie will focus on Aragorn and Gollum, leading to excitement about a potential recasting of Aragorn and Gandalf, who was also a part of that story.

Given that Peter Jackson has already adapted the full books, it wouldn’t be surprising if the movie settled on smaller arcs or even just anecdotes scattered throughout the book to explore. However, for now, the Aragorn/Mirkwood arc is just a theory. Further details on The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum‘s plot and casting should be forthcoming as production draws closer.

(featured image: New Line Cinema)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.