By Simon Vozick-Levinson
April 24, 2009 at 08:02 PM EDT

I have no clue how The Hunt for Gollum has gotten past New Line Cinemaand the J.R.R. Tolkien estate’s intellectual property lawyers. Nor do I care,because this “by fans, for fans” non-profit 40-minute Lord of the Rings tribute filmlooks awesome. As far as I can tell from the trailers, the plot, adapted from part of Tolkien’s voluminous appendices,is supposed to take place some time between The Hobbit and TheFellowship of the Ring. The filmmakers aren’t kidding around: They’ve cast decent Viggo Mortensen and Ian McKellenlookalikes in the starring roles of Aragorn and Gandalf, and they seem tohave nailed a passable low-budget version of Peter Jackson’sbest-epic-movie-ever visuals. Of course, the most recent trailer(below) doesn’t actually show Gollum himself, undoubtedly the hardestpart of Jackson’s technical wizardry to replicate on a shoestring.Whatever! I will still totally spend 40 minutes on this when itdebuts online on May 3. I’m an LotR nerd that way — yes, that is a framed map of Middle-Earth hanging on my living-room wall — and I will take any excuse I can to see that world again during the interminable wait for the real Hobbit films. How about you?


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