While preparing “The Lord of the Rings,” director Peter Jackson struggled to convince the New Line studio executives to believe in Gollum and give him enough screen time.
Gollum almost became an extra in the immense epic Lord of the Rings in the cinema! However, the creature has marked several generations of JRR Tolkien readers and a generation of moviegoers. It’s hard to imagine that such a cult figure could have been reduced to the bare minimum in the trilogy directed by Peter Jackson.
Gollum had been teased in The Fellowship of the Ring (a face seen in the shadows, a few whispered phrases (“Lost … my precious!”) but not much more. Conversely, the fallen hobbit appears quite early in The Two Towers, attacking Frodo and Sam, and according to the writers’ admission, it is from this film that Andy Serkis was really able to finalize his version of Gollum. .
In the second scene with Gollum at the end of a rope (see below), the character can finally fully express himself, and Peter Jackson recalls in the audio commentary of Two towers that nothing was easy at the time:
It was not easy for us (…), because New Line has long seen Gollum as an incomprehensible voice emanating from a guy in a leotard. Their comments were harsh: “less Gollum, less Gollum (…), it will be fine if we see it as little as possible, but otherwise, it will harm the film”.
And the director does not mince his words as to the reasons that could have elicited these reactions from the producers: “It’s because they couldn’t see what it would look like and they didn’t understand it. They didn’t have the imagination or the ability to see what it was going to be like. We did, and that was it. is why we ignored those comments. “
The film’s co-writer, Fran Walsh, tempers, however:
We have been careful to correct the pronunciation, but [le personnage] also had a great voice that we didn’t want to lose. Additionally, there was a duality of voice between Gollum on one side and Smeagol on the other. Andy was really a relentless, he did not stop rehearsing, multiplying the recording sessions.
The scene where Gollum manages to convince Frodo to serve as his guide to the Dark Door has for example been recorded five times by Serkis. According to co-writer Philippa Boyens, it was during this scene that Serkis found the character’s voice: “We had to focus on clarity and eliminate some gurgling he was making” and concludes: “We had to minimize [les effets de voix] and it was not easy for [Andy Serkis]”.
The work was worth the candle, because the performance of the actor (in every sense of the word) is remarkable, to the point that Jackson will recall Andy Serkis to reinterpret the character in the first part of The Hobbit, in addition to entrusting him with the realization of the second. team of the whole trilogy.
The adaptation of Lord of the Rings by Jackson and his team would have been less striking with a near-absent Gollum, because if he does not take a direct part in the resolution of the general intrigue, Gollum proves to be a valuable ally for Sam and Frodo on their journey. across Middle-earth. In addition to being one of the most iconic characters.
Ten details hidden in “The Lord of the Rings”: