Though he’d been acting before, Andy Serkis made a name for himself with the motion capture performance in the Lord of the Rings films. Since then he’s become one of the leading motion-capture actors, and has been constantly working. But besides reprising his role as Gollum in the upcoming Hobbit movies, he’ll be serving as a second unit director for Peter Jackson, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

When the Lord of the Rings films were made, Jackson would sometimes have nine units going at all times to try and get the footage he needed – on the supplements  for the film, producer Barry Osbourne talked about he would often get roped into running a unit, while Peter Jackson’s wife Fran Walsh also mentioned that she shot some footage for the film. As Jackson is coming into this having made the three previous films – blockbusters all – he will likely have more resources, but films of this scale require just as much crunch as something smaller.

Serkis will also be returning to play Gollum. Serkis is not that weird of a choice for second unit work as he’s been helping direct on some of his motion capture work, though his role is unknown in total. The IMDb lists him as also working on his feature film debut. Perhaps he’s taking this on as training.

Does this make you excited for The Hobbit?