Andy Serkis is no stranger to the world created by J.R.R Tolkien.
His rise to fame was thanks to his role as Gollum/Smeagol in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. That’s when motion capture effects were new, and people were curious about the face behind that unusual and captivating voice.
Since then, Serkis has continued to play recognizable roles–sometimes in motion-capture roles, sometimes in traditional live-action roles, and sometimes in animated roles. He played Ceasar in The Planet of the Apes films, Ulysses Klaue in the MCU, Kino Loy in Andor, and Matthew the Raven in The Sandman.
He has also continued to be a part of Middle Earth, including the fact that he read The Hobbit out loud, without stopping, for 12 hours in a fundraiser for Covid relief.
Here’s the full video:
The GoFundMe for the account raised more than $376,000 for Covid-19 relief in the earliest days of the pandemic. This money went to two charities based in the UK: Best Beginnings and NHS Charities Together.
Later, he recorded an official audiobook for The Hobbit, as well as a 2021 audiobook of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Now, a new announcement: Serkis will narrate The Silmarillion for a brand new, unabridged audiobook!
What is The Silmarillion?
The Silmarillion was published in 1977 and is full of dense (but beautiful) prose about the history of Middle Earth before the creation of the One Ring that Frodo carries to Mordor in The Lord of the Rings. It’s not really much of a story; rather, it is more like a reference book for people who want to know more about the world of Middle Earth.
It is a lengthy and complex collection of Middle Earth myths and narratives. Tolkien himself died in 1973, so the book was edited and published after his death by his son Christopher Tolkien, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay, another fantasy author.
Compared to other Tolkien books, The Silmarillion is less likely to be adapted into a traditional movie or trilogy. However, some fans would love to see it turned into a series, perhaps with one episode for many of the myths and legends in the book.
Serkis’s Statement About the Audiobook
Serkis released a statement about his role as the audiobook reader of The Silmarillion reads:
“The Silmarillion was always going to be a hard mountain to climb, and therefore perhaps the most rewarding. I was seriously daunted. Whereas the narrative structure and characters of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings provide the narrator with an immense propulsion, The Silmarillion is like reading an extraordinary, ancient bible, with its own creation mythology spanning many ages, written over many years. But once in the flow of Tolkien’s poetic imagination, and limitless authority of his universe, there were passages that I found myself completely mesmerised by as I was reading, and it became a thrillingly wild and magical experience. I can only hope the listener feels the same way.”
The audiobook will be released on June 22, but you can pre-order today.