The Hunt for Gollum fan-made film and a screenshot of the character from the original trilogy.

The Hunt For Gollum (Film)

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Updated May 13, 2024 at 03:16PM EDT by Zach.

Added May 12, 2024 at 11:18PM EDT by Brandon.

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About

The Hunt For Gollum is the name of a fan film set in the Lord Of The Rings universe, which follows Gollum as the main plot and his knowledge of the One Ring while Sauron readies his armies. In 2024, it was revealed that Warner Bros. was releasing an official movie of the same name, resulting in the fan film being taken down for copyright violations. Following the immense backlash, the studio then reversed its decision and the copyright claim was rescinded, allowing the fan-made film to stay up online.

History

On May 3rd, 2009, the fan film The Hunt For Gollum was released. A fan-made film written and directed by Chris Bouchard, the film was intended to put a spotlight on the character Gollum and the lead-up to the original trilogy of films by Peter Jackson. The YouTube channel Independent Online Cinema later uploaded the film to YouTube[1] on May 8th, 2009, where it went on to amass over 15 million views in 15 years (shown below).



Online Presence

Fifteen years later, on May 9th, 2024, it was announced by Warner Bros. that a new film set within the LoTR franchise, called The Lord Of The Rings: The Hunt For Gollum was being written and had an expected release in 2026.

The same day that the film was announced, it was noted that YouTube had taken down the fan-made film which shared the same name, with many fans calling foul. On May 10th, X user @Olessan[2] uploaded a screenshot of the film being taken down by YouTube (shown below).


Olessan @Olessan On May 9 2009, the Lord of the Rings fan film, The Hunt for Gollum, released. 15 years and 13 million viewers, it became probably the best- known Tolkien fan film. Today, May 10 2024, Warner Bros copyright struck it and got it removed. For their LoTR movie no one asked for. Video unavailable This video contains content from Warner Bros. Entertainment, who has blocked it on copyright grounds Subscribe 54K The Hunt For Gollum - Short Film Independent Online Cinema 117K subscribers 13,684,708 views May 9, 2009 Show less Dating B Clip + Save ...

Content creators in the Lord Of The Rings space began to talk about the movie announcement and speculate as to what the movie would show shortly after the announcement.

On May 10th, 2024, YouTuber and content creator The Broken Sword[3] uploaded an 11-minute video in which they detail what the books say happened on the quest for Gollum, earning over 25,000 views in two days and fueling more talk about the angle the movie might take (shown below).



Following the rapid and prominent backlash against WB for issuing a copyright claim on the fan-made movie, the studio retracted the DMCA strike on May 10th, 2024.[4]

That same day around noon, the film's director, Chris Bouchard (@ChrizBouchard), made a post to his Twitter[5] / X account acknowledging that the claim had been removed and included a screenshot from YouTube, which received over 54,100 views and 1,000 likes in three days (seen below).


Chris Bouchard @ChrizBouchard Follow X And our film is back already! We've had an interesting day to say the least. Grateful to WB for being so gracious. & love also to all the Tolkien fans who remembered us. We're very excited though that @andyserkis himself will be telling this new story. youtu.be/9H09xnhICQU?si... Copyright claim released: The Hunt For Gollum - Short Film Inbox ☆ Y YouTube 16:25 to me v ►YouTube Hi Independent Online Cinema, Good news! One or more copyright claims from content Hunt for Gollum 2023 Block have been released. There are no more copyright restrictions on your video. ...

Also on May 10th, the Independent Online Cinema YouTube channel posted a comment about the retraction and pinned it to the comment section of the film (shown below).

We’re back, thanks to WB for being so understanding to us as fans and artists. We’re very positive and excited for what the new movie will be at fan film THFG HQ.

@jakejameslugo A new Lord of the Rings movie was officially announced. The Hunt for Gollum is coming out in 2026 and will have Andy Serkis and Peter Jackson directing and producing. Is this a big deal for fans of The Lord of the Rings? Let’s discuss… Are you excited for a new Lord of the Rings movie based on Gollum? #lordoftherings #gollum #movies #middleearth #andyserkis #peterjackson #lotr ♬ Chill and gentle lo-fi/10 minutes(1455687) – nightbird_bgm

@earendil95 CHAT ARE WE EXCITED or nah 🫨🤔 #lordoftherings #lotr #gollum #huntforgollum #greenscreen ♬ original sound – earendil95
@medicalmovieman After the new Lord of the Rings film was announced yesterday, Warner Bros has dropped a copyright claim on a short film that had the same name. It was made by fans of the movies and books; and now this big movie studio is trying to erase it from existence. Sad. #filmtok #film #movietok #movie #thelordoftherings #lordoftherings #warnerbros #andyserkis #moviestudio #lordoftheringstiktok ♬ original sound – Stone | Medical Movie Man

@moviesthatmaher Warner Bros has issued a copyright strike to a fan film from 2009 titled ‘THE HUNT FOR GOLLUM’ less than a day after announcing their own film with the same title. The fan film had over 13M views before being taken down. #thehuntforgollum #andyserkis #gollum #lotr #thelordoftherings ♬ Motivational – Vioo Sound

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Top Comments

Braneman
Braneman

I hope they convince Gollum that he is a piss baby.

No seriously what is it with pre-failed LOTR projects from corporations and Gollum? Gollum is a side character, a physical illustration of the long term effects of the One Ring, he is there in LOTR as a mirror to Frodo. He has no value on his own, he can't hold up his own thing because he's a nasty little skulker who wants to strangle you from behind. If this movie is going to be any good the movie named after Gollum is going to de-emphasize the crap out of the character.

+38
Taiho
Taiho

Corps really need to learn that fandom and community actively keep franchises alive and being negative to them like this and Warhammer for example, is going to drive off people.
Also no one has asked for a Gollum film. The intro to Return of the King was like 10 minutes and already perfectly summed up Gollum's transformation.

+33

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