Peter Jackson taught Serkis to direct while filming The Hobbit

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The first of three films based on an adaptation of the 1937 novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It will star Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug. Several actors from The Lord of the Rings will reprise their roles, including Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Elijah Wood & Orlando Bloom. Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) is swept into a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug.

July 28th, 2012

Peter Jackson mentored Andy Serkis while shooting 'The Hobbit'.

'The Lord Of The Rings' director helped Andy - who voices sly goblin-like creature Gollum in the film franchise - make his directorial debut as a second unit helmer on 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey', and Peter monitored his progress closely on set.

Andy said: ''He would watch form his set, call: 'No, no, it's not working. Just bail out of the shot.' He was mentoring me.

''There were different ways we worked. We'd set up entire sequences, or he'd start a scene and I would finish it if there wasn't time.''

The British actor was stunned to receive an email from Oscar-winning director Peter last year, asking him whether he would like to help helm the motion picture.

He added to Empire magazine: ''Pete's known that I have wanted to direct for many years and he's always been very encouraging.

''I was just going to come over [to New Zealand] and do Gollum, and then get on with my life. This wasn't part of the game plan.''

The long-awaited first part 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' is scheduled for release in December.