Andy Serkis, the actor-director you may recognize for his award-winning performances as Gollum in the Lord of The Rings film franchise, is lending his likeness to a new AR creation for Magic Leap One headset in what The Hollywood Reporter describes as an “orc-like creature.”
The project is said to be the result of a partnership between Magic Leap and Serkis’ digital production and motion capture studio The Imaginarium, although it doesn’t have a consumer release date yet.
According to the report, The Imaginarium has worked with Magic Leap for at least five years, marked by the moment when Serkis first visited their offices. Magic Leap’s executive creative director Andy Lanning also confirmed that Imaginarium is currently working on several projects for the Magic Leap One, and that there are plans on the table for third-party developers to create via The Imaginarium’s London Studio.
Serkis’ character, sporting the unmistakably orcish name ‘Grishneck’, is said to have been rejected from a project because “he wasn’t scary enough,” The Hollywood Reporter reveals.
“We now have a new way of experiencing story,” Serkis tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s the next generation of theater/cinema/event that we’ve been circling around for some time, and it’s finally emerging. Entertainment is obviously the area that I’m immediately interested in, but it’s only one aspect of the phenomenal range of applications that Magic Leap will offer.”
Serkis continues: “As an actor, the process of creating a role emotionally, psychologically and physically, that will live in a mixed reality environment is no different to any other sphere of storytelling. The only exception being that your performance can live on in so many different iterations, which are yet to be decided. However, as a director capturing a performance for Magic Leap content is fascinating because you are offering up the story and yet the end user has total freedom as to how they will experience it spatially. It is entirely different to capturing for a movie, where you obviously have control over every aspect of the viewer’s experience.”
Magic Leap has been closely engaged with several ‘A list’ brands and studios including Weta Gameshop’s first-person shooter Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders, the NBA, and Sigur Rós’ musical AR experience Tonandi.
It’s possible we may have to wait for the consumer release of Magic Leap One for these larger projects to materialize, as the $2,300 headset currently on offer is decidedly a developer kit focused at filling the company’s upcoming app store.