The celebration of the 75th anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit Saturday was highlighted by an in-character reading by actor Andy Serkis, who will reprise the role of Gollum in the upcoming movie adaptation of the book.
Serkis lent his voice and his body movements to first play the character in the Lord Of The Rings film trilogy using motion-capture technology, a role that propelled both him and the character into the public eye.
“Part of the difficulty of doing The Hobbit 12 years later was kind of reclaiming him,” Serkis told Reuters. “I have heard that many impersonations, and people ask me to do that many telephone messages for them.”
Peter Jackson, who directed the trilogy, will also be helming The Hobbit, which will be released in December — but another adaptation of the book has beaten it to the punch, if not to the theaters.
According to The Telegraph, a group of students from a London prep school have filmed their own feature-length film based on Tolkien’s work.
Filming took place at several locations around the country, with a cast of about 70 boys aged 8-13 from Tower House School working on what they called a shoestring budget.
“It was our ambition to do something totally unique, something no other school has ever done,” said the film’s director, Paul Geary, who also heads the school’s drama department. “As far as I am aware we are the first prep school to do a full feature-length film.”
Reuters’ report from the anniversary celebration, posted Monday, can be seen below.
And the trailer for the Tower House School kids’ take on the film, courtesy of The Telegraph, can be seen here.