Update: Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen join The Hobbit

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit…”

With production due to start in New Zealand next month, three more old hands have officially joined the cast of The Hobbit.

Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will be reprising their roles of Frodo, Gandalf and Gollum.

While Gandalf and Gollum do appear in Tolkien’s novel, Frodo does not and fans of the book, myself included, are wondering how Frodo will be fitted in. Similarly, Orlando Bloom has reportedly expressed an interest in reprising his character, Legolas. While Legolas himself does not appear in The Hobbit, his father, the Elvenking of Mirkwood, does.

Fellow elf, and The Hobbit absentee, Galadriel will be making an appearance courtesy of Cate Blanchett while Hugo Weaving, who portrayed Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is yet to be confirmed though Elrond does appear in the book.

I am really excited that more LOTR veterans have joined the cast. I’m not sure how much I would have enjoyed different actors portraying Gandalf and Gollum and, if Peter Jackson wants him to incorporate him, Frodo. The casting was spot on in the Lord of the Rings trilogy – I cannot fault a single casting decision.

Since my last post about The Hobbit, I am coming round to Martin Freeman as Bilbo though I am still a little dubious. Knowing that Ian McKellen will be by his side though has reassured me though. Martin Freeman is a great actor and I am sure that they will have great on-screen chemistry together.

Yesterday, on his official website, Ian McKellen wrote an explanation behind his reasons behind reprising his portrayal of Gandalf. He writes: “Could I let Gandalf go? Would anyone else care if I did? Elsewhere, does anyone care that Michael Gambon was not the first to play Dumbledore?”

Interestingly it seems that dates are the sole reason behind his decision: “Gandalf is needed on set over the next 18 months but with sizeable breaks when I can work on other projects. My worry that I could not easily escape from Middle Earth was lifted.”

The full, confirmed cast of The Hobbit so far:

  • Martin Freeman – Bilbo
  • Ian McKellen – Gandalf
  • Andy Serkis – Gollum
  • Richard Armitage – Thorin Oakenshield
  • Cate Blanchett – Galadriel
  • Elijah Wood – Frodo
  • Aidan Turner – Kili
  • James Nesbitt – Bofur
  • Graham McTavish – Dwalin
  • Robert Kazinsky – Fili
  • Peter Hambleton – Gloin
  • Mark Hadlow – Dori
  • Stephen Hunter – Bombur
  • John Callen – Oin
  • Adam Brown – Ori
  • Ryan Gage – Drogo Baggins
  • Ken Stott- Balin
  • Jed Brophy – Nori
  • William Kircher – Bifur
  • Sylvester McCoy – Radagast the Brown
  • Mikael Persbrandt – Beorn

Image from Rob & Jules‘s photostream.

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