Director Peter Jackson has asked his Gollum himself, Andy Serkis to lend a behind-the-cameras hand as a second unit director on the currently in production Lord Of The Rings literary prequel adaption The Hobbit. As Serkis told the Hollywood Reporter –
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… When Peter asked me. There was this email out of the blue. It was a fantastic surprise.
I would also dare say that Serkis might have a stronger idea of the technical necessities of film making than most other actors simply due to the nature of his work in performance capture. I happen to think that, while a bit surprising, it is a choice on Jackson’s part that makes perfect sense.
Gollum’s story role in The Hobbit is much smaller than in Lord Of The Rings, so it’s not like Serkis will be dividing much of his time between the two chores. In fact, the HR story states that his performance capture work as the creature from whom the titular Bilbo Baggins wins a magical ring from is already done, leaving him free to be “very much on the live action sets and locations helping Peter to tell the story.”
The experience should serve Serkis well in his future endeavor of a planned motion capture studio and training center.