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A Fan Already Made Warners’ New ‘Lord of the Rings’ Movie ‘The Hunt for Gollum’

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If Warner Bros. newly announced The Lord of the Rings movie idea The Hunt for Gollum sounded a bit like fan fiction, that’s because it already is.

There’s a 2009 fan-made film titled The Hunt for Gollum that you can watch below. The film, directed by Chris Bouchard, is rather ambitious. The Hunt for Gollum spans 39 minutes and received plenty of praise from fans upon its release. The short tells presumably the same story that’s going to be tackled in the upcoming feature film, which is being developed by producer Peter Jackson and his writing partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who “will be involved every step of the way.” Andy Serkis is on board to direct and reprise his role as Gollum.

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The fan-made Hunt for Gollum is set during opening act of The Fellowship of the Ring and fills in a quest that was only briefly discussed in Jackson’s 2001 film: Gandalf (played by Patrick O’Connor in the short) meets with Aragorn (Adrian Webster) and asks him to hunt for Gollum to find out more about Frodo’s magic ring. Aragorn has a series of adventures, traps and loses Gollum and gets attacked by orcs and Ringwraiths. Gollum is recaptured by the Elves of Mirkwood, and he’s interrogated by Gandalf.

Warner Bros. made the surprise LOTR announcement Thursday during its first-quarter earnings conference call and noted that Lord of the RingsThe Hunt for Gollum was a working title.

Yet the prospect of a movie seemingly centered around the tormented creature which Jackson and Serkis so memorably brought to life in the original trilogy is receiving some heavy skepticism from fans online. The CG-enabled character was, after all, a rather ideal supporting character — so very specific and, at turns, amusing and detestable. A little Gollum went a long way, and he was always balanced by the grounded performances of his traveling companions played by Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Sean Astin (Sam).

But given the storyline suggested by the fan-made short, the film’s lead character might actually turn out to be Aragorn, with Gandalf and Gollum in more supporting roles.

It’s unclear if the fan-made film helped inspire WB’s project. But one suspects that the popularity of the video game The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, which was released last year, was at least part of the project’s inspiration.

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