Andy Serkis, who earnedplaudits and a cult following for his portrayal as Gollum in Peter Jackson's LordOf The Rings trilogy, is reunitingwith the Oscar winning director on King Kong for Universal.

Serkis will play two rolesin the production, which is due to begin in New Zealand in August. He will playa crew member on steam ship The Venture and lend his talents as a stop motioncapture reference for the character of King Kong himself, which will becompletely rendered in CGI.

"I expect this time roundwill be a very different experience for both Andy and myself as we'll actuallyget to shoot extended drama sequences together," Jackson said in a statement.

"It will be a little weirdseeing Andy out of his Gollum gimp suit - and I hope we can both make theadjustment!"

Jackson continued: "WhileAndy will provide very valuable on-set reference, this doesn't mean we will besoftening Kong by attempting to humanise him.

"The power of the story liesin the fact that this is a savage beast from a hostile environment and we don'tintend to compromise that."

King Kong is scheduled to be released in December 2005 andco-stars Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody. It is based on a screenplayby Jackson and his Oscar winning Lord Of The Rings writing partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

Jackson and Walsh (who alsowon the best picture Oscar with fellow producer Barrie Osborne) are serving asproducers and Mary Parent, Universal's vice chairman of worldwide production,is directly overseeing the project.