Peter Jackson continues bringing people on board for The Hobbit (part 1 and 2) who had a hand in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Andy Serkis, who portrayed Gollum, won’t just reprise his role, but will fill in the role of the second unit director on both films of The Hobbit.

Serkis will mainly direct performance capture and will also help Jackson with scenes on live sets. He already has directing experience with performance capture, most notably on the video game Heavenly Sword. Serkis plans to further his directing experience with a live-action film after the completion of The Hobbit.

“I think I understand Peter’s sensibility and we have a common history of understanding Middle Earth. A lot of the crew from The Lord of the Rings was returning to work on The Hobbit. There is really  a sense of Peter wanting people around him who totally understand the material and the work ethic.”

— Andy Serkis to The Hollywood Reporter

Serkis went on to say that he’s thrilled to reprise his role as Gollum. He was memorable in The Lord of the Rings, and he’ll be sure to bring that same talent to The Hobbit — and I’m curious to see how his directing will fit with Peter Jackson’s.

The Hobbit is out December 19, 2012.