New Lord of the Rings Film ‘The Hunt for Gollum’ Causes Popular Fan-Made Movie to be Taken Down from YouTube

Warner Bros. announced a new Lord of the Rings movie titled ‘The Hunt for Gollum,’ a popular 15-year-old fan-made film with the same title has been ordered to be taken down from YouTube.

The fan film likely contains the same story concept as the new project developed by producer Peter Jackson and his team. Andy Serkis is set to direct and reprise his role as Gollum. The fan movie has been replaced by a message from YouTube stating, “This video contains content from Warner Bros. Entertainment, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”

The film, directed by Chris Bouchard, is rather ambitious. ‘The Hunt for Gollum’ spans 39 minutes and has received plenty of praise with 13 million views. The film opens with a detailed disclaimer trying to ward off a copyright takedown request by stating it is a non-profit film for private use only and not affiliated with the Tolkien estate or any studios.

The film fills in a quest briefly mentioned in Jackson’s 2001 film where Gandalf meets with Aragorn to hunt for Gollum to find out more about Frodo’s ring. Aragorn encounters various adventures, traps, and enemies along the way. Gollum is eventually recaptured by the Elves of Mirkwood and interrogated by Gandalf.

Warner Bros. made the surprise LOTR announcement during its first-quarter earnings conference call, noting that ‘Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum’ was a working title.

Despite the announcement, fans online are skeptical about a movie centered around Gollum, a character brought to life memorably by Jackson and Serkis in the original trilogy. Gollum was a unique and specific supporting character, often balancing the more grounded performances of Frodo and Sam.

Given the storyline hinted at by the fan-made short, the film’s lead character may actually be Aragorn, with Gandalf and Gollum playing supporting roles.

It’s unclear if the fan-made film inspired Warner Bros.’ project, but the popularity of the video game ‘The Lord of the Rings: Gollum’ released last year may have been part of the inspiration.


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