Having coveted the precious as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, actor Andy Serkis is now taking on a heroic real-life role.
The acclaimed star will be undertaking a 12-hour, unbroken, live reading of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, to raise money for the NHS. And yes, he's set to perform "all the voices", including the characteristically raspy Gollum.
Serkis delivered a video announcement while in the midst of editing Venom 2, and encouraged fans to donate via a GoFundMe campaign. Money raised from the performance will be split equally between NHS Charities Together and Best Beginnings.
Serkis said: "So many of us are struggling in isolation during the lockdown. While times are tough, I want to take you on one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written, a 12-hour armchair marathon across Middle-earth, while raising money for two amazing charities which are doing extraordinary work right now to help those most in need."
In Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Serkis made his debut as Gollum, the deformed former Hobbit who has been corrupted by the power of the One Ring. Serkis broke new grounded in CGI-assisted motion-capture performance, paving the way for acclaimed portrayals in the later likes of King Kong (also directed by Jackson) and the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy.
He also memorably reprised the role in 2018 while lampooning former PM Theresa May's botched Brexit deal.
As mentioned, Serkis' next project is Venom 2, on which he's collaborating with Tom Hardy. The film has been moved from its initial October 2020 release date to summer 2021. After that, he will appear as Alfred Pennyworth in director Matt Reeves' The Batman, also due for release in 2021.
The livestream will start at 10am on Friday the 8th of May, with the link posted on the GoFundMe page on Friday morning. Let us know @Cineworld if you'll be settled in for the entire day watching it.