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New batch of Lord of the Rings movies to begin with The Hunt For Gollum

:Headline: New batch of Lord of the Rings movies to begin with The Hunt For Gollum:
Warner Bros. confirms plans to release new Lord of the Rings movies, starting with a Gollum-centric film in 2026.
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Warner Bros. has announced plans to release fresh films in the Lord of the Rings universe, beginning with a Gollum-centric movie in 2026.

The original trilogy was released from 2001 to 2003 and was a bona fide box office smash, bringing in $3 billion and prompting a prequel trilogy based on author JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit.

Those films were less successful in critical terms but still delivered almost $3 billion themselves between 2011 and 2013.

Now original director Peter Jackson is returning to Middle Earth with some more films inspired by Tolkien's work, starting with Lord of the Rings: The Hunt For Gollum.

Andy Serkis, who plays Gollum, will also serve as director for the film, with Jackson producing alongside Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

Warner Bros. executives Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy said in a statement: "For over two decades, moviegoers have embraced the Lord of the Rings film trilogy because of the undeniable devotion Peter, Fran and Philippa have shown towards protecting the legacy of Tolkien's works, and to ensure audiences could experience the incredible world he created in a way that honours his literary vision.

"We are honoured they have agreed be our partners on these two new films. With Andy coming aboard to direct Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum, we continue an important commitment to excellence that is a true hallmark of how we all want to venture ahead and further contribute to the 'Lord of the Rings' cinematic history."

Jackson, Walsh and Boyens added in a joint message: "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! As life long fans of Professor Tolkien's vast mythology, we are proud to be working with Mike De Luca, Pam Abdy and the entire team at Warner Bros. on another epic adventure!"

"Yesssss, Precious," Serkis said. "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.

"With Mike and Pam, and the Warner Bros team on the quest as well, alongside WETA and our filmmaking family in New Zealand, it's just all too delicious..."

The script is believed to still be in the early stages of development, with plot details or further casting yet to be disclosed.

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