By Joe Cunningham | The Playlist February 14, 2012 at 9:43AM
Andy Serkis may be best known for his work in blue spandex suits with ping pong balls taped to him ("Lord of the Rings," "King Kong," "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," "The Adventures of Tintin") but it's becoming increasingly clear that he's a man of many talents. Not only had there been calls for Serkis to be rewarded during the awards season for his work as Ceasar in Rupert Wyatt's 'Apes' film -- something that this writer would have endorsed -- but he's also impressed in non-mo-cap roles. His portrayal of Ian Dury in "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll," even earned him a BAFTA nomination last year.
Serkis has also been busy establishing The Imaginarium -- a London-based studio focused on the art of performance capture -- which, as well as creating its own work, provides consultancy and production services to other major studios. And while back in New Zealand reprising his role as Gollum for Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit," Serkis has also somehow found the time in his busy schedule to become the second unit director for the two films. We can only imagine that's far from a simple task on a production of such magnitude.
Serkis has obviously enjoyed his time behind the camera, though, because he's now set to take the step up and direct for himself. Sam Tromans, the producer of Dexter Fletcher's directorial debut "Wild Bill" (in which Serkis also stars, and a film we enjoyed at the London Film Festival -- trailer below) confirmed that her new sales/production/finance company STS would be backing Serkis' passion project: a period love story described as " 'The English Patient' up a mountain." Tromans went on to say that "It's a fantastic script with a great female role," and confirmed that she was working on the film with Serkis and his partner at The Imaginarium, Jonathan Cavendish.
We imagine this will be Serkis' directorial debut, although IMDb also lists a project called "Freezing Time" as being in development, so we'll have to see what comes of that, but it's certainly nice to see a hard-working actor and creative force like Serkis being able to tackle the projects he's passionate about. His well-earned payday for signing on to star in multiple 'Apes' sequels has probably helped on that front, and we'll certainly be looking forward to seeing if Serkis is as talented at directing as he is at everything else. [Screen Daily]