How The Gollum Movie Can Succeed Where Rings of Power Failed

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

andy serkis

Unless they had their own Palantir, Lord of the Rings fans everywhere were surprised to hear we would be getting a Gollum movie that feels like old home week. Andy Serkis will be starring and directing, and original trilogy director Peter Jackson will be producing. It sounds great on paper, but it can be difficult for fans to get excited after the disappointment of recent LOTR media. It may sound like cursing the movie with faint praise, but hear me out: when comparing it to the Amazon show, it’s easy to see how Gollum can succeed where Rings of Power failed.

The Rings Of Power Suffers From Poor Pracing

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For example, a common complaint about the show is that it has poor pacing, with world-building so exhaustingly methodical that it puts you to sleep. By virtue of not being a television show and not trying to be the next Game of Thrones, the Gollum movie can tell a streamlined story centered around a fan-favorite character. Plus, the movie’s title The Hunt for Gollum heavily implies it will be full of action and exploration rather than tedious world-building.

The Chance To Explore More Of Midle-Earth

Speaking of exploration, another way that a Gollum movie has a chance to prove its worth over Rings of Power is by giving us a closer look at some of the more exotic locations of Middle-Earth. That seemed like it would be a big part of the show’s charm, but other than nice establishing shots and a nice little tour of Numenor, all of these exotic locations feel like nothing more than a few claustrophobic sets.

Gollum will have a feature film budget and a perfect narrative excuse (the titular hunt for Gollum) to take us on an in-depth road trip through Tolkien’s rich fictional land, so let’s hope they make the most of it.

Give Us The Dialogue We Want

Another common criticism about The Rings of Power is that it has had bad dialogue. Obviously, “bad” is relative, but what most fans mean by this criticism is that it doesn’t sound like how our favorite characters spoke in the earlier Lord of the Rings films. Since Gollum has two of the main talents behind those films (Andy Serkis and Peter Jackson), there is a very solid chance the dialogue of the film will be better than the Rings of Power dialogue fans know and loathe.

Stick With Tolkien’s Lore

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The final way that a Gollum movie can theoretically succeed where Rings of Power failed is by staying truer to the lore. With the occasional exception (yes, I’m still salty about the elves showing up at Helm’s Deep), Jackson’s films were remarkably faithful to Tolkien’s original lore, but the show wasted no time making some insane changes, including the idea that Elvish immortality is tied to mithril. With any luck, Jackson and Serkis will ensure that The Hunt for Gollum doesn’t make any similarly unwelcome changes to this venerable franchise’s lore.

There’s Hope

hunt fro gollum

Some of this might be wishful thinking: I previously wrote about how the upcoming film needs to avoid the mistake of last year’s solo Gollum video game if it is going to succeed. The odds are stacked against this Gollum movie, but between the major talent in front of and behind the camera and the insanely low bar set by Rings of Power, this movie has the chance to impress fans hungry for good LOTR content.

If it drops the ball, however, we’ll have to trade this cinematic feast for some good old nostalgia (give us those Extended Editions raw and wriggling, Precious).