Andy Serkis stopped by The Late Show on Wednesday night to promote The Batman, but it didn’t take long for things to go all Middle Earth thanks to Lord of the Rings superfan Stephen Colbert. After learning that Serkis narrated a Lord of the Rings audiobook that saw the versatile actor/director voice over 132 characters, he demonstrated a few for Colbert before putting a poignant spin on the ring-obsessed Gollum. Serkis, who famously did the award-winning voice and motion capture work for the creature in the Peter Jackson films, imagined the twisted little guy as Vladimir Putin, and the impression left Colbert impressed.
“Gollum was on the side and Sméagol was on this side,” Serkis explained. “And he would say things like, ‘We wants it. We needs it. We must have Kyiv!’ ‘No Precious, they’re to impose sanctions!’ ‘Sanctions? Sanctions, my Precious? If they do anything, we’re going to give them s*** back.’”
Eventually, the conversation steered back to The Batman, which features Serkis putting a new spin on Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s butler, father figure, and trusted partner in his war crime. However, the topic of Russia invading Ukraine still weighed heavy, as it should.
“There’s so much anticipation for this movie right now, that it’s actually being used as a cudgel against the Russians by not playing it there,” Colbert said. “It’s one of the sanctions being leveled against Russia that they don’t get this movie. Very powerful.”
The Batman opens in theaters on March 4.