“Peak capitalism”: No Self-respecting Lord of the Rings Fan Will Like What WB Did to Take Down a Fan Film With 13M Views to Protect Andy Serkis’ Gollum Movie

Warner Bros shuts down a fan-made YouTube video which was titled The Hunt for Gollum.

andy serkis, gollum in lord of the rings

SUMMARY

  • Warner Bros has announced working on a new project titled Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum.
  • A day after the announcement, the studio filed a copyright claim against a 15 year old fan-made movie.
  • Fans are unhappy with what the studio did for the new Lord of the Rings project.
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 The Lord of the Rings franchise is set to add another project to its league, which is set to be out in 2026. Titled Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum, it is starring and directed by original Gollum actor Andy Serkis. However, the project is garnering a negative spotlight due to what Warner Bros did after announcing the project. 

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Gollum from The Lord of the Rings
Gollum from The Lord of the Rings

Just one day after the studio announced the upcoming project, a fan-made movie of the same name was taken down from YouTube, which didn’t fit well among fans. 

A New Lord of the Rings Movie Has Been Announced

The original The Lord of the Rings trilogy filmmaker, Peter Jackson and his partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are producing the upcoming Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum. As reported by Variety, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav made a surprise announcement during  its first-quarter earnings conference call, sharing that the trio will be involved every step of the way.” 

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Walsh and Boyens are working on the movie script along with Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou, which is currently in the early stages, exploring “storylines yet to be told.”

Andy Serkis as Gollum
Andy Serkis as Gollum

Apart from releasing the working movie title, the studio has also announced Andy Serkis’s return in his iconic titular role, who will also be sitting in the director’s chair. He is also serving as executive producer along with Ken Kamins, and The Imaginarium’s Jonathan Cavendish.

While Serkis’s new project sounds promising, avid fans would feel mixed emotions as the studio filed a copyright strike against a fan-made movie of the same name. 

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The Hunt for Gollum Fan-Made Film Has Been Taken Down

Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Rings

While the WB announced this project last Thursday, fans of the franchise are familiar with the title, thanks to a 2009 fan-made movie, which garnered positive views on YouTube. 

The movie would have likely contained the same story concept but has now been blocked due to copyright grounds. Directed by Chris Bouchard, the now-deleted video spans 39 minutes, garnering 13.6 million views (via IGN )on the streaming platform before it got hauled. 

The page reads, 

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“This video contains content from Warner Bros. Entertainment, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.”

As the studio brings a new project for fans to enjoy, they take away a precious project from them, which is what they’re unhappy about. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), online commentators reflected on how this decision is peak capitalism. 

Check out the tweets here. 

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Several came forward to showcase their frustration towards the studio, which filed a copyright strike, leading the video to be hauled offline.

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Last year, it was announced that the studio is revamping the universe with the 2026 project being the first of two new live-action franchise films. As the studio bosses broke multiple film deals based on the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien books, it is yet to see how they go with the epic fantasy-adventure cinematic franchise.

Although it is yet to be revealed how the studio ended up with Gollum’s arc, it might have something to do with the Gollum video game, which rose to prominence last year. 

Warner Bros. lift copyright strike from Hunt for Gollum Fan-Made Film

It seems as though the studio was quick to recognize its mistake, and has speedily responded to the hue and cry revolving around the copyright strike. According to an update from the fan himself, the copyright strikes against the movie have been lifted, meaning that it is now available to be watched on YouTube once again.

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In a statement released by Warner Bros., the company claimed that the copyright strike was actually sent due to an ‘error,’ which suggests there were no actual plans to protect the title.

The Hunt for Gollum is currently scheduled to be released in 2026. 

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Written by Priya Sharma

Articles Published: 1117

Priya Sharma, Senior Content Writer and Social Media Manager at FandomWire and Animated Times. Having graduated in Journalism and Mass Communication, she possesses extensive expertise in crafting engaging and informative content. She has written over 2000 articles across Animated Times and FandomWire on pop culture, showing her dedication to delivering diverse and trending content to readers across the world. Apart from pop culture, she is quite enthusiastic about the Hallyu culture and is exploring the world of anime, expanding the horizons of her knowledge.