James Nesbitt On For The Hobbit

He's playing Bofur the Dwarf...

His name has been floated in connection with The Hobbit before – usually as a possible Bilbo. But now, with Martin Freeman locked in place for the lead, the word has finally come down that James Nesbitt has also snagged a role in the films, nailing down a deal to play Bofur, one of the dwarf company that accompanies our hero on his quest.

Bofur’s a friendly, honest (occasionally a little too direct) sort, but he can often be counted on in a crunch. As for Nesbitt? "James's charm, warmth and wit are legendary as is his range as an actor in both comedic and dramatic roles. We feel very lucky to be able to welcome him as one of our cast," said director Peter Jackson in a statement picked up by Deadline.

And the man who was Steven Moffat’s Jekyll is not the only actor joining the cast according to the latest release. Newcomer Adam Brown has won the role of Ori, another of the dwarf company. “Adam is a wonderfully expressive actor and has a unique screen presence. I look forward to seeing him bring Ori to life,” is Jackson’s response to hiring the man.

With both planned Hobbit films now officially greenlit, Peter Jackson can now apply those many months of design, concept and pre-production work to shooting in New Zealand. The likes of Freeman, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Rob Kazinsky, Graham McTavish, Mark Hadlow, Stephen Hunter, and Peter Hambleton are all aboard. Plus while we’re waiting for the final, official confirmation of them on the movies, we’re sure Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will be there to help the newcomers find their way through Middle Earth.

The Hobbit films are set for release in December 2012 and 2013.