Actor Andy Serkis first broke into the mainstream with his haunting portrayal of Gollum in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. He reprised the character in the spinoff/prequel The Hobbit series. Now, Serkis has announced that he will be doing a continuous, live reading of J.R.R. Tolkein's novel The Hobbit, which is expected to take around 12 hours, in order to raise money for UK charities NHS Charities Together and Best Beginnings.

"So many of us are struggling in isolation during the lockdown. While times are tough, I want to take you on one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written, a 12-hour armchair marathon across Middle Earth whilst raising money for two amazing charities which are doing extraordinary work right now to help those most in need."
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Fans can use the opportunity to donate to the campaign on its own GoFundMe page. The reading will begin at 10am on the 8th of may, and will continue for as long as the story takes to finish. The actor further implores fans to donate what they can, hinting at a special treat once the donation amount reaches its target of 1,000.

"From an unexpected party to the last stage, join Bilbo and me on this tale of high adventure. Together we'll face the might of the trolls, journey to the magical Rivendell, encounter the giant spiders in the labyrinths of Mirkwood, and the evil goblins living among the roots of the Misty Mountains, until we meet the dragon Smaug, and see the Battle of the Five Armies. I will be announcing on this page how to live stream my Adventure so stay tuned and donate. If we hit our target of 1,000, there may be a special surprise later in our journey. I'll share the link before I start reading and will be live streaming all day, from 10 am... And THANK YOU for your contribution. Any donation size is hugely appreciated."

The Hobbit tells the tale of an adventure that Bilbo Baggins embarked upon with a group of dwarves, several decades before the events of Frodo's journey to Mount Doom with the One Ring took place. Tolkien wrote the novel as a children's fantasy of sorts, and a whimsical tone is reflected in its writing, despite the plot's ties to the much more serious Lord of the Rings series.

Apart from a well-respected acting career, Serkis is best known for his ground-breaking work in the art of motion capture performance. His role as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies is credited with popularising the technology in Hollywood. Serkis followed that up with another heartfelt mo-cap performance as Caesar, the monkey protagonist of the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy.

The actor has also branched out into direction, helming Netflix's gritty new take on Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book series. He will next be seen playing the role of Alfred the Butler in Matt Reeves's upcoming The Batman film and is also attached to direct the superhero sequel Venom: Let There be Carnage. This news comes direct rrom GoFundMe.com.

Neeraj Chand