Could Gollum Show Up In Other 'Hobbit' Movies?

When Peter Jackson decided to pull material from the "Lord of the Rings" appendices, pinning down what was fair game for his new "Hobbit" trilogy became much harder. With a whole world of Tolkien material to pad out the three films, a new cast of characters became eligible for cameos.

But watching the first installment, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," there's really only one character you're curious about: Gollum.

"The Lord of the Rings" turned him into an iconic and essential element of the cinematic version of Middle-earth. Could Jackson and co. really say "goodbye" to him after just one scene? We had to put the question to Andy Serkis during a recent press tour.

"That's a very good question. At the moment there certainly aren't any plans for Gollum to return," Serkis said when asked about the possibility. "But I always say [when working] with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, never say never."

Hmmm. That sounds a bit like a more polite version of "can't tell you." We'll have to wait and see until "The Desolation of Smaug" opens next December.