Exclusive: Andy Serkis Talks Tintin

And a little bit of Hobbit too

We got the chance to catch up with Andy Serkis recently and, when not trying to coerce him into recording Gollum answerphone messages, we spoke to him about his role in the upcoming trilogy Tintin.

Though he's keeping schtum on his actual role (it's strongly rumoured that he'll play Captain Haddock), he did say that he's already started work on the project in New Zealand.

"It was on the Avatar stage," Serkis told us, referring to James Cameron's currently shooting 3D CG sci-fi bonanza. "We had this incredible week. Cameron was there, Peter Jackson was there (who's directing one of the three Tintin films), and Steven Spielberg was there (who's directing another). All in the same room!"

Which means that the film will be using the same technology as Avatar, which shows the characters in their (almost) final form on monitors, even though they're only in lycra body stockings on set. "You're on a bare, empty stage with actors standing around in blue Lycra with dots on, but [on the monitor] the director is looking into a fully rendered, three-dimensional virtual set, with the actors as their characters".

It would be too much to hope that Cameron's involvement at this early stage might mean he'll direct the third film. Wouldn't it?

Obviously, we also had to ask Serkis about the possibility of reprising his role as Gollum for the upcoming Hobbit movie. The character appears briefly in the book, playing a riddle game with Bilbo. Though there's no script and no certainty that he'll be written into it, Serkis says "I think I'd find it very hard to turn down the opportunity to play Gollum again, because he's become very much a part of me. For good or bad, he's still very much there!".

For more on both Tintin and The Hobbit, pick up the new issue of Empire, on sale now.

Empire Magazine