Lee Pace Joins The Hobbit

And Dean O'Gorman is the new Fili

Even as he toils away making The Hobbit, Peter Jackson is sticking to his promise of keeping the audience up to date with new additions to the cast of the films. And he’s hit Facebook to announce that Dean O’Gorman will slip into the role of Fili, while Lee Pace has been chosen to play Elven King Thranduil.

O’Gorman, of course, replaces Rob Kazinsky, who sadly had to drop out of the Hobbit cast for personal reasons. But Jackson seems confident that he’s found a great new actor for the role. “Dean's a terrific Kiwi actor, who I am thrilled to be working with. He's recently been in an excellent TV series down here called The Almighty Johnsons, and I should let fans of that show know that our shooting schedule allows Dean to continue with a second series next year. Dean will be joining us next week.”

As for Pace, who has appeared in the likes of Infamous, When in Rome, and The Good Shepherd (as well as late, lamented quirk-fest TV drama Pushing Daisies), his role in Tarsem Singh’s most recent directorial effort is the one that appears to have snagged Jackson’s eye and approval: “I'm also pleased to announce that Lee Pace will be playing the Elven King Thranduil. Casting these Tolkien stories is very difficult, especially the Elven characters, and Lee has always been our first choice for Thranduil. He's going to be great. We loved his performance in a movie called The Fall a few years ago, and have been hoping to work with him since. When we were first discussing who would be right for Thranduil, Lee came into mind almost immediately.”

We’re particularly pleased with the casting of Pace, who’s proved he can bring the goods when the project’s right.

The first chunk of The Hobbit is set to hit December 2012 with the second scheduled for the same time in 2013.