Gollum talks Heavenly Sword

Lord of the Rings' actor Andy Serkis talks up his role in Ninja Theory's splendid-looking PS3 battler

Lord of the Rings star Andy Serkis, who you may know as sneaky raw fish connoisseur Gollum and giant hairy ape King Kong, has been speaking to the Beeb about his new role in Heavenly Sword.

Ninja Theory's hack n' slasher was the undoubted star of Sony's PS3 line-up at last month's E3 and, after seeing the game in action, Serkis duly signed up via a rather unusual process (more on that in a moment) to star in the game as ultimate villain King Botan - as well as taking on board a dramatic director role on the title.

"We are aiming to bring the highest level of layered, truthful and emotionally engaging performance into Heavenly Sword," said Serkis, who went through a lengthy motion capture routine (which he should be used to now) to bring the evil Botan to life.

Serkis was apparently recruited via a rather unusual route through his mortgage adviser, who happens to be the brother of Ninja Theory's boss, Tameem Antoniades. Antoniades told the Beeb, "Because the production quality [on Heavenly Sword] is so high, we have been working with more film people. Andy is taking care of all the performance capture, the casting and is heavily involved in writing."

"We've done facial tests with him to find out how to create believable performances in real time on the PlayStation 3. Not many people believed what we showed [last year] was real," said the Ninja Theory boss. "This year we have proved ourselves to the doubters."