• Warner Bros. removed a 15-year-old
    Lord of the Rings
    fan film ahead of their new movie of the same name,
    The Hunt for Gollum
  • The new film is part of a flood of new
    Lord of the Rings
    content, but the decision could be damaging for its reputation.
  • The film is pulled from a sparse amount of Tolkien’s work and Gollum’s character doesn’t guarantee success, making Warner Bros.’ takedown all the more afflicting for the movie.

Warner Bros. has taken down a 15-year-old fan film of The Lord of the Rings after announcing a new movie with the same title slated for release in 2026. On May 9, CEO David Zaslav announced a new movie in the fantasy franchise titled The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum, which will see Andy Serkis in the titular role as well as directing. Peter Jackson will also be returning as a producer, though no other information about the movie has been released.

However, Independent Online Cinema (via IGN), a YouTube channel which hosts a variety of independent and fanmade films, has had a 15-year-old fan film of the same title taken down ahead of The Hunt for Gollum‘s release. The short film with the same title as Warner Bros.’ upcoming movie was removed via copyright notice overnight. Released on the platform in 2009, the movie amassed 13.6 million views before it was struck down. Filmmaker Chris Bouchard also responded to the takedown of his fan film, hoping it can be resolved:

LOTR: The Hunt For Gollum Is Already Off To A Rocky Start

Custom image by Yeider Chacon

The Hunt for Gollum is one of two upcoming movies in The Lord of the Rings franchise Warner Bros. is planning to release in the coming years. The movie is part of a sudden boom of content for the franchise, with Prime Video’s The Rings of Power season 2 and the animated film The War of the Rohirrim arriving later this year. However, by issuing a copyright takedown of a 15-year-old fan film of the same name, Gollum’s new movie is already off to a controversial start.

The move from Warner Bros. follows a series of other publicly decried decisions the company has made since 2022, such as scrapping a finished Batgirl movie and shelving the completed Coyote vs. Acme. However, their takedown of a fan film that’s existed for so long is now a permanent part of their attempt at bringing The Lord of the Rings franchise back on the big screen. Depending on how the project develops, this alone could strike a major blow with audiences who no longer want to see the movie because of the fan film takedown.


When Lord Of The Rings’ New Gollum Movie Takes Place In The Timeline

The Lord of the Rings franchise is getting a new Gollum movie, but where does The Hunt for Gollum fall on the timeline? Its title holds a clue.

The movie already has to struggle due to its focus, with the hunt for Gollum in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth writings being a minor, background part of its history. It also comes years after The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, a 2023 video game that failed critically and commercially. Warner Bros.’ copyright strike doesn’t inspire confidence in their next Lord of the Rings movie, and may even do more damage to its reputation despite how long it will be until the film comes out.

The Lord of the Rings Major Release

Release Date

The Rings of Power season 2


The War of the Rohirrim

December 13, 2024

The Hunt for Gollum


Source: Independent Online Cinema (via IGN)

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