In May, Gollum actor Andy Serkis powered through a 12-hour reading marathon (a Hobbitathon) of the entirety of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Now, he’ll go back behind the microphone to do it again, for a new edition of the fantasy novel’s audiobook.
This new edition is slated to be released on September 3rd from digital audiobook retailers, and will come out as a physical CD on September 17th. Speaking to The Bookseller, Serkis notes that he has “such vivid memories of first reading The Hobbit, when I was on the bus going to school, aged about nine or 10.”
This won’t be a re-release of that Hobbitathon charity stream: Serkis notes that the experience prompted him to chat with HarperCollins about the possibility of doing a new audiobook, and that he’ll be working over the course of four days to create a polished version of the story.
Serkis read The Hobbit in May as a way to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts, netting more than £300,000. According to the official J.R.R. Tolkien Facebook page, he’ll be doing the same for this new recording—he’s asked that his fee (which HarperCollins says it will match) go to The Disasters Emergency Committee, a charity designed to aid countries hit with major disasters.