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The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum is probably getting a better title and some returning characters

Gollum himself has shared the scoop.

Gollum in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Image credit: New Line Cinema

No, you haven't dreamed it. A Gollum-centric Lord of the Rings spinoff movie is coming in 2026, and actor-director Andy Serkis is already teasing some of what's on the horizon for the project.

Via Popverse, we've learned about Serkis' cheeky little teases of what we can expect from the surprising new movie, including a possible title change (thank the Lord) and a fair amount of returning characters.

The filmmaker isn't spilling the beans on any of the big names that could be returning — both Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) have already expressed interest in doing so — yet he admits they've already been trying to figure out who's coming back as part of the new tale. "It is so early; it would be unfair to commit to anything at this point," Serkis said, "But I will say that it will be a deep dive where we investigate Gollum’s character. There may be characters that we recognize that might be coming back. I’m not going to say who."

Given the story's potential placement in the timeline (between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings' main events), it wouldn't be surprising to see characters such as Gandalf or Aragorn coming back, but the elves especially should have a part to play in the search for the little evildoer and once-Ring-bearer. Likewise, the forces of Mordor spent many years looking for Gollum, eventually extracting the information they needed from him and sending the Ring-wraiths to the Shire. The rest is well-known Middle-earth history. Long story short: there'll be cameos and even sizable roles for LOTR veterans, and de-aging tech will likely be used. That much we can safely predict.

As for the wordy title, which hasn't been well-received by most people, Serkis says we should calm down, as the film "may not end up being called that". "It’s going to very much be the world of Middle Earth according to Gollum’s experience of it," he said, possibly suggesting a much darker tone that would help separate this spinoff from the 'main' movies and make it more attractive, as most moviegoers are still wondering whether we really needed this.

With Embracer now in control of Middle-earth's core source materials across video games and film, we're surely getting many more LOTR-adjacent stories in the coming years, yet the two nearest were set in motion way before its acquisition of the rights to Tolkien's central works. From New Line Cinema, which remains in the business of Middle-earth in this new age for the franchise, the long-in-the-works War of the Rohirrim anime movie is coming this Christmas, and Amazon's The Rings of Power season 2 will finally hit Prime Video on August 29.

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