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According to an interview Andy Serkis gave to SciFiNow.com, J.J. Abrams has enlisted the help of Serkis’ production company, The Imaginarium, to assist on the latest Star Wars installment.
The Imaginarium, which has specialized in Performance Capture since its founding in 2011, will be ” involved in all of the performance capture on the Star Wars projects”. As an aside, Serkis also confirmed, “and I’m playing a character in that.” Depending on on your view of practical effects vs. CGI, this news comes with mixed reactions. Regardless of your inclinations however, the inclusion of Serkis and The Imaginarium means Abrams has recruited the very best for his project. Judging by the context of his comments, Serkis implies that there are at least a several computer-generated characters in the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII.
Serkis was not able to comment on whether his character would be live action, or his signature motion captured performance, but did mention how his involvement in Episode VII originated; “JJ Abrams and I met, and we just had this incredible kind of vibe between us. He said, ‘You’d fit really well in this universe,’ and I said, ‘I think I probably could.’”. As a lifelong fan of the Star Wars saga, Serkis is thrilled to be a part of the project; “It’s extraordinary. […] I never imagined in a million years that I’d be engaging with this. It’s just come about so organically.”.
Known for his varied performances ranging from Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, to Ceasar in both Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Serkis has a great deal of talent and a very wide range. As a pioneer in the motion capture industry, he certainly brings a lot to the table in terms of both quality of work and talent. Slated for December 2015, Star Wars Episode VII is shaping up to be a worthy continuation of George Lucas’ original six.