Andy Serkis doesn’t find Putin to be precious in the slightest.
The “Batman” star briefly reprised his iconic “Lord of the Rings” character Gollum to mock Russian president Vladimir Putin in the midst of the nation’s war with Ukraine.
“Gollum was on this side and Sméagol was on this side, and he would say things like, ‘We wants it. We needs it. We must have Kyiv!'” Serkis said during “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” March 2. “‘No Precious, they’re to impose sanctions!’ ‘Sanctions? Sanctions, my Precious? If they do anything, we’re going to give them shit back.'”
Serkis voiced 132 different characters in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which spanned from 2001 to 2003. The actor also voiced Gollum in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and the franchise’s video game adaptations.
“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert joked that the “anticipation” for Serkis’ upcoming film “The Batman” is now “actually being used as a cudgel against the Russians by not playing it there.”
In the Matt Reeves–directed movie, Serkis plays Alfred Pennyworth, beloved butler to Bruce Wayne (aka Batman, aka Robert Pattinson).
Warner Bros. blocked “The Batman” from premiering in Russian theaters, along with Universal, Sony, Disney, and Paramount pulling upcoming releases.
“It’s one of the sanctions being leveled against Russia that they don’t get this movie. Very powerful,” Colbert added.
A spokesperson for WarnerMedia previously issued a statement February 28 in support of Ukraine.
“In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film ‘The Batman’ in Russia,” the statement read. “We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”
“The Batman” opens in the U.S. March 4.
Serkis is not slated to voice Gollum in upcoming Amazon Prime Video “Lord of the Rings” prequel series, “The Rings of Power,” which will debut on the streaming platform September 2. “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” dives deeper into J.R.R. Tolkien’s history of the Second Age of Middle-earth, even predating the events of “The Hobbit.” The series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth.