15-Year-Old ‘Hunt for Gollum’ Fan Film Restored Online After It Got Blocked Following Warner Bros.’ New ‘Lord of the Rings’ Movie Announcement

A 15-year-old “Lord of the Rings” fan film titled “The Hunt for Gollum” is back online and streaming on YouTube after it was temporarily blocked in the aftermath of Warner Bros. revealing its next “Rings” movie has the same title (via Entertainment Weekly). The fan film, which centers on Gandalf tasking Aragorn with hunting down Gollum before the latter can find Frodo and the One Ring, has earned 13 million views since its debut more than a decade ago.

The fan-created “Hunt for Gollum” was unavailable to watch on May 9 after Warner Bros. announced Andy Serkis is starring in and directing “The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum.” Viewers got the following message on the fan film: “This video contains content from Warner Bros. Entertainment, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.” The fan film was restored on YouTube by the morning of May 10.

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Warner Bros.’ new “Rings” movie “The Hunt for Gollum” is currently in the early script development phase. Peter Jackson, who directed “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film trilogies, is producing this new movie alongside his longtime franchise collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav stressed to fans that Jackson and his team “will be involved every step of the way” on the new film. The film is being planned for a 2026 theatrical release.

As for the fan-created “Hunt for Gollum” on YouTube, it begins with the following disclaimer: “‘The Hunt For Gollum’ is a non-profit film for private use only, and is not intended for sales of any sort. It is in no way affiliated with, or sponsored or approved, by Tolkien Enterprises, the heirs or estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. or any of their respective affiliates or licensees. The content is for the private use of the viewer and should not be sold, rented, or used for any commercial enterprise in any way, shape, or form. We make no claim to any characters, storylines, prop designs, names, logos or situations that are trademarked, copyrighted or otherwise protected by federal, state, international or other intellectual property law.”

The filmmakers behind the fan film add: “This work is produced solely for the personal, uncompensated enjoyment of ourselves and other Tolkien fans.”

Warner Bros. first announced a new live-action “Lord of the Rings” movie in February 2023. At that time, studio heads Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy announced they brokered a deal to make “multiple” films based on the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien books. A separate, animated Middle-earth movie, “The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim,” is due in theaters on Dec. 13 from Warner Bros and director Kenji Kamiyama. That movie is set 200 years before the events of “The Hobbit.”

“With Andy coming aboard to direct ‘Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum,’ we continue an important commitment to excellence that is a true hallmark of how we all want to venture ahead and further contribute to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ cinematic history,” De Luca and Abdy said in a May 9 statement.

Watch the fan-created “Hunt for Gollum” in the video below.

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