Andy Serkis has been praised as a ''very, very remarkable'' director.

The 'Lord of the Rings' actor went behind the camera to make 'Breathe' - which tells the true story of Robin Cavendish who, after being paralysed from the neck down by polio and told he only had three months to live, defied medical advice and devoted the rest of his life to help fellow patients and campaign for disabled rights - and screenwriter Bill Nicholson believes the 53-year-old star's background in performance capture helped bring out the best in the cast, which included Andrew Garfield in the lead role and Claire Foy as his wife Diana.

Bill said: ''Andy is very, very remarkable. We've had a few comments in reviews asking what Andy Serkis is doing this kind of old fashioned, small movie when he does sci-fi and creature stories and fantasy.

''But if you think about his talent, Andy has created creatures who are like people and have emotions and that's because he has that talent and actually gets how emotion works and a lot of actors don't know how to do that.

''It's a very emotional film so he is a wonderful director. When you see how these people act, you think to yourself 'How can it be that good' and of course they are very good actors already but they have a very good director. He is amazing.''

The movie was a labour of love for the 69-year-old screenwriter, who spent 10 years working on the project.

He told BANG Showbiz: ''It's been 10 years since I first wrote it, that doesn't mean I've been working on it for 10 years but I have done all the drafts and we've been through lots of different things, so if you added it all up it probably would have been a year's work but over 10 years.''