Billy Connolly Is In The Hobbit

He's Dain Ironfoot

We thought that the complex series of strings, ropes, pulleys, bells and tin cans we had strung around the office to warn us whenever Peter Jackson cast someone new in the Hobbit films would finally have fallen silent since they’ve long gone into production. But nope: we were rudely jangled from a pleasant lull today by the clattering noise that Billy Connolly has been added to the sprawling Hobbit ensemble.

Jackson released a statement to the Heat Vision Blog today announcing that Connolly was on board. “We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of Dwarves, than Billy Connelly (sic), the Big Yin himself," the director enthuses. "With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of The Hobbit is now complete. We can't wait to see him on the battlefield!"

Complete, the man says. We won’t believe it until both films are out in their final version on shiny disc, or direct brain download.

For those keeping count, the main cast for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There And Back Again now runs to approximately 17 million actors. Or, to put it in a less silly way, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Lee Pace, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Fry, Barry Humphries, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Sylvester McCoy, Jed Brophy, Dean O’Gorman, Mark Hadlow, James Nesbitt, Peter Hambleton, Graham McTavish, Richard Armitage, Ken Stott, john Callen, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Adam Brown, Aidan Turner, Benedict Cumberbatch and many more.

Expect the first film on December 14 this year and the second on December 13, 2013.

Connolly will also be heard as a voice in Pixar’s Brave, which arrives here on August 13.