Of all the performances in Middle-Earth films, the most revered is Andy Serkis’s portrayal of Gollum. Every so often, he’ll delight fans by breaking into the high-pitched gravelly Gollum voice. Serkis himself is an accomplished voice actor, often delivering a wide range of voices for his characters. Recently, he returned to The Hobbit, reading the entire novel in one eleven-hour sitting all to raise money for COVID-19 relief. Sadly, it was a “watch it or miss it” experience. (Though a screen-capture of the stream has to show up somewhere, right?) But the Tolkien Estate and Best Beginnings know that countless Middle-Earthlings want to hear it, and now we can. Well, some of it. On Best Beginnings’ YouTube page, we can listen to Andy Serkis reading chapter five of The Hobbit, Riddles in the Dark.
Andy Serkis Reading The Hobbit, Waititi Reading James and the Giant Peach…What’s Next?
Taika and Friends reading James and the Giant Peach (Image via screengrab)
If you haven’t listened to any of Taika and Friends reading James and the Giant Peach, you’re missing one of the best Quarantine-era productions made so far. Likewise, just hearing Andy Serkis reading one chapter of The Hobbit is magical. So, what other famous novels and performers should go next? These charity drives don’t just raise money for Coronavirus relief. They expose literature to new audiences. So, how about Michael B. Jordan reading Fahrenheit 451, or Kenneth Branagh reading Murder on the Orient Express.
Or, why even focus on classics? How awesome—and popular—would it be if Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Allen, and other cast members read The Hunger Games. And while I don’t like the books at all, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson could raise millions reading just a little of Twilight. If they could stomach returning to those roles, that is). For several books, we could have an entire cast, like Taika Waititi and friends reading James, or just one person, like Andy Serkis reading The Hobbit.
Who would you want to see reading your favorite books?
(Featured Image via screengrab)
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.