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‘Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum’ in development with Andy Serkis to direct and star

Andy Serkis is going back to Middle-earth to play Gollum in two new “Lord of the Rings” films. Warner Bros.
FILE - Peter Jackson, left, director, co-writer and producer of the film trilogies "The Lord of the Rings and "The Hobbit," poses with actor Andy Serkis during a ceremony honoring Jackson with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles on Dec. 8, 2014. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Andy Serkis is going back to Middle-earth to play Gollum in two new “Lord of the Rings” films.

Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group’s Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy said Thursday that Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, the Oscar-winning team behind the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies, will produce and Serkis will direct.

“Yesssss, Precious,” Serkis said in a statement. “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…It’s just too delicious.”

The working title is “Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum" and Walsh and Boyens are co-writing the screenplay. The collaboration between Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema is expected to be released in 2026.

The “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” films have made nearly $6 billion combined at the box office. “The Return of the King” won a record 11 Oscars, including best director and best picture, tying “Titanic” and “Ben-Hur” for most won.

De Luca and Abdy said in a statement that this team represents their commitment to excellence in further contributing to the cinematic history of the “Lord of the Rings.”

Jackson, Walsh and Boyens, who consider themselves lifetime scholars of J.R.R. Tolkien's worlds, added that they were looking forward to traveling back to Middle-earth with Serkis, “who has unfinished business with that Stinker - Gollum!”

The studio also has the animated fantasy “The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim” arriving in theaters in December.

Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press