Andy Serkis is earning raves for reprising his role as Cesar in Matt Reeves' “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” but that's not all he's been up to the past year. The performance capture expert best known for bringing Gollum to life in “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy has been assisting J.J. Abrams' crew on “Star Wars: Episode VII,” currently in production, as well as Joss Whedon's highly anticipated “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” It was revealed a few months ago that Serkis would be in front of the camera for “Star Wars,” but up to this weekend his “Avengers” work was thought to be limited to assisting Mark Ruffalo as he took on more performance capture work as the Hulk. That appears not to be the case.
Speaking to Variety, Serkis revealed that he'll also appear on screen in “Age of Ultron.” Or will he? When asked if audiences will see Serkis' face (presumably digitally or in flesh and blood form), Serkis responded, “I”m not at liberty to mention. But it”s all the same to me. I”ve never drawn a distinction when playing a role, whether it be live action or performance capture. Acting is acting. It”s just basically what you wear to the set that”s different.”
No clue yet who Serkis could be playing in the “Avengers” sequel, but expect the internet to begin speculating on every character in the history of the comic book series that hasn't already been announced. (Or, could he be playing the physical embodiment of Ultron itself?)
In regards to his work behind the camera, Serkis told the trade that the performance capture aspect of Ruffalo's performance is much more significant than on the previous film.
“There are tools and ways of working with an actor that makes them feel that they own the character,” Serkis says. “And a character the size of the Hulk needs ownership, which Mark has now.”
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” opens nationwide on May 6, 2015. “Star Wars: Episode VII” is currently scheduled for Dec. 18, 2015.