If you were not at SDCC over the weekend, fret not, because some panels, like the one with the cast of The Hobbit and Stephen Colbert (what an inspired lineup) are already hitting youtube. One hour of Hobbit and Tolkien-related goodness, moderated by the biggest Tolkien nerd there is? Yes, please, that sounds absolutely amazing. And it was.

Stephen Colbert
Think you know your Tolkien? Not as well as Colbert does.

Besides the absolutely obligatory trivia contest (which Colbert won, against one of the series writers, no less), the panel also included a very brief update from Peter Jackson on The Hobbit: There and Back Again. The director, who has spent almost two decades working on Tolkien adaptations, said about the journey: “It’s a commitment I’ve really enjoyed taking.”

 That being said, the work isn’t over yet. To offer an update, the director said they’re still shooting, and are currently in the middle of filming the Battle of Five Armies. The film will hit theaters December 17.

Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson gave the tiniest of updates on There and Back Again

Andy Serkis, who has played some of the most varied roles on screen for the past decade, including Gollum in the series, had some insight on the use of CGI to expand an actor’s repertoire.

“As an actor, [technology] breaks down barriers,” Serkis explained. “Whatever you are, it doesn’t matter. You can play anything.” After playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, Serkis moved on to playing King Kong and then to the highly intelligent ape leader Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes franchise. “I thought my life was going to go back to normality to play normal films in a normal traditional way. The idea hit me overnight: ‘Hold on a minute: I’ve just played this three-and-a-half foot ring junkie. Now I’m going to play a 25-foot gorilla. This means typecasting is not more.”

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Andy Serkis
Andy Serkis frequently takes on fantastic, challenging roles with lots of CGI.