Ready for another gritty reboot of a fairy tale? No? Too bad. Rumpelstiltskin, like Snow White and the Huntsman before it, is about to get a dark-hearted treatment. Despite feeling like I’m buried in a tsunami’s worth of grit, Steelskin, which hasn’t even gone into production, is already on my must-watch list. That’s because the Grimm Fairy Tale-turned-film is going to star Andy Serkis … who will also be directing.
Serkis is a successful working actor, but despite his talent, he’s not instantly recognizable to Joe Filmgoer and his filmgoing friends. That’s because we tend to see Serkis’ motion-captured likeness even more frequently than we see his face. Gollum in Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit. King Kong. Caesar from the Planet of the Apes series. Monkey from the videogame Enslaved. Supreme Leader Snoke in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. All Serkis.
In addition, he isn’t merely an actor. Serkis worked as a second-unit director on all three Hobbit films. As the second-unit director tends to direct stunt scenes, background shots and close-ups, his work on The Hobbit series well qualifies him to direct.
The fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin is quite dark, even without the grit: It’s about a young woman who is locked in a tower and forced to spin straw into gold. Then a creature comes to her and offers her a trade—gold for her firstborn child. Ultimately, the girl gets the one-up on Rumpy.
Rumpelstiltskin has been adapted for the screen several times before, including a horror version in 1995. Robert Carlyle has been playing the character in Once Upon a Time since 2011. Rumpelstiltskin has also appeared in the 2015 off-the-radar film Avengers Grimm.
No word on whether we’ll be seeing Serkis’ non-mo-capped face.