Warner Bros. Restores Fan-Made 'Lord of the Rings' Film After Backlash

Warner Bros. restored a 15-year-old fan-made "Lord of the Rings" film, "The Hunt for Gollum," on YouTube after it was removed due to an error. The studio is also developing a new film with the same title, starring Andy Serkis and produced by Peter Jackson, set to release in 2026.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Warner Bros. Restores Fan-Made 'Lord of the Rings' Film After Backlash

Warner Bros. Restores Fan-Made 'Lord of the Rings' Film After Backlash

Warner Bros. has restored a 15-year-old fan-made 'Lord of the Rings' film, 'The Hunt for Gollum,' on YouTube after it was removed due to an error. The removal occurred shortly after the studio announced a new film with the same title, starring Andy Serkis and produced by Peter Jackson, set to be released in 2026.

The fan film, created by Independent Online Cinema, had amassed 13.6 million views over 15 years and had the blessing of the Tolkien estate. However, Warner Bros. owns the rights to the character of Gollum.

Fans were outraged when the fan film was removed from YouTube, with many expressing their frustrations on social media and Reddit. One fan called the removal "deplorable and despicable" and another suggested a boycott of the official film. However, much to fans' relief, the video was swiftly back by the next morning.

The new film, 'The Hunt for Gollum,' is in the early stages of development and will be directed by Andy Serkis, who will also reprise his role as Gollum. Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens will be involved in the production. The film is one of two new Lord of the Rings films announced by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav.

Andy Serkis expressed his excitement about the new project, saying,"Yesssss, Precious. The time has come once more to venture into the unknown with my dear friends, the extraordinary and incomparable guardians of Middle-earth, Peter, Fran, and Philippa. "Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens added,"It is an honour and a privilege to travelbackto Middle-earth with our good friend and collaborator, Andy Serkis, who has unfinished business with that Stinker, Gollum."

The fan film begins with a disclaimer stating that it is a non-profit film for private use only, and is not intended for sales of any sort, and is not affiliated with or sponsored by Tolkien Enterprises, Peter Jackson, or any other related entities. The filmmakers behind the fan film add that the work is produced solely for the personal, uncompensated enjoyment of themselves and other Tolkien fans.

Therestorationof the fan-made 'The Hunt for Gollum' film on YouTube comes as a relief to fans who were upset by its initial removal. As Warner Bros. moves forward with its own 'The Hunt for Gollum' film, set to release in 2026, it remains to be seen how the studio will approach this beloved story and whether it will draw any inspiration from the passion and creativity demonstrated by the fan film over a decade ago.