Andy Serkis to read The Hobbit live for charity
Andy Serkis is going there and back again. The actor and director announced on Thursday that he will be reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit all the way through, in one sitting, on live stream to raise money for charities fighting coronavirus.
"So many of us are struggling in isolation during the lockdown," Serkis, who famously portrayed the creature Gollum through motion capture in Peter Jackson's film adaptations of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, wrote on the stream's GoFundMe page. "While times are tough, I want to take you on one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written, a 12 hour armchair marathon across Middle Earth whilst raising money for two amazing charities which are doing extraordinary work right now to help those most in need in the UK: Best Beginnings and NHS Charities Together."
Serkis continued, "Starting at 10 a.m, on Friday 8th May BST (5 a.m. EST, 2 a.m. PST), I’ll be embarking on a marathon reading of The Hobbit - from cover to cover, there and back again. The entire book. A Hobbitathon!"
Best Beginnings is a charity organization that helps parents of young children (who are suffering unique burdens amidst the coronavirus crisis), while NHS Charities Together raises money for the United Kingdom's health care workers.
Amazon is planning a new Lord of the Rings-adjacent TV series, though Serkis is not reported to be involved (which makes sense since the show is set to tackle the Second Age of Middle-earth, before Gollum came along). Serkis is currently working on directing Venom: Let There Be Carnage; in the announcement video for his The Hobbit stream, Serkis mentioned he's editing the film from lockdown ahead of its release set for next June.