'The Hunt for Gollum' Is the Next 'Lord of the Rings' Movie — and It's Set to Hit Cinemas in 2026

Andy Serkis will both star and direct — but Peter Jackson “will be involved every step of the way".
Sarah Ward
Published on May 10, 2024

More than two decades have passed since the original live-action Lord of the Rings film trilogy finished arriving in cinemas. Middle-earth hasn't been far from screens over that period, however. From 20122014, The Hobbit flicks also hit the big screen. Then, in 2022, long-awaited streaming series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power debuted on Prime Video, and there's more of it on the way. Also in the works: new movie Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum.

That's just a working title, so the moniker could change, but there is indeed a brand-new live-action LoTR film on its way. Warner Bros Discovery announced in 2023 that it was taking the hobbits, elves, dwarves and other creatures from the JRR Tolkien-created fantasy realm back to picture palaces with another series of movies — and this is the first to be locked in.

Also confirmed by Warner Bros Discovery's CEO David Zaslav on the company's first-quarter earnings conference call on Thursday, May 9: that The Hunt for Gollum is set to drop in 2026. Yes, Andy Serkis (Andor) is back as Gollum. He'll also be directing, adding to a filmmaking resume that also boasts Breathe, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and Venom: Let There Be Carnage.includ

Oscar-winner Peter Jackson (The Beatles: Get Back), who helmed all six past live-action flicks, is returning as well. He mightn't be helming, but he "will be involved every step of the way", said Zaslav — and so will his writing partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens (Mortal Engines). The latter pair are penning the script, in fact.

"It is an honour and a privilege to travel back to Middle-earth with our good friend and collaborator Andy Serkis, who has unfinished business with that stinker — Gollum!," said Jackson, Boyens and Walsh in a statement, as per The Hollywood Reporter.

"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," said Serkis.

Of course LoTR was going to return to the movies. Star Wars did it. Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones, too. No blockbuster film franchise stays away from cinemas for too long these days.

Making more Lord of the Rings pictures is a result of Warner Bros Discovery coming to an agreement with Swedish gaming and media company Embracer Group, which owns the intellectual property rights to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and other Middle-earth-related literary works. As part of the new movie arrangement, the upcoming flicks are being produced by Warner Bros-owned production company New Line Cinema, which was behind the first two trios of hobbit-filled features.

Obviously there's no sneak peek at Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum yet, but here are the trailers for The Fellowship of the Ring,The Two Towers and The Return of the King in the interim:

Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum is set to release in 2026, but doesn't yet have an exact release date — we'll update you with more information when it's announced.

Via The Hollywood Reporter / Variety.

Published on May 10, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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