Orlando Bloom On For The Hobbit?

Legolas might be legging it back...

If you were disappointed to learn that Orlando Bloom is likely out of Glenn Close’s period pic Albert Nobbs, here’s some news that should have those with Bloom-loving hearts skipping a joyful beat: Deadline reports that Legolas could be shield-surfing back into the Lord of the Rings universe for The Hobbit.

Like the return of Cate Blanchett as Galadriel announced yesterday, the involvement of Bloom’s elf warrior raises eyebrows if only because he doesn’t actually appear in Tolkien’s book (though they do drop by his Mirkwood birthplace, at one point and the Lego-lad's dad, Thranduil, appears as the Elvenking.)

But there are two fairly simple explanations for Peter Jackson gathering the old guard back: he’s either tinkering with the story to expand The Hobbit’s world to two movies, or some of the characters are being used in the second of the two movies to bridge the plot between the time of Bilbo's quest and LOTR. And it’s apparently not just a cameo role, so he hopefully won’t pop up for two seconds and then vanish again.

Much more worryingly, Deadline’s story also mentions that the talks with Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Andy Serkis (Gollum/Smeagol) and Hugo Weaving (Elrond) have been "arduous." We have trouble picturing the three (especially McKellen and Serkis, who have both expressed a desire to return) causing any problem at the contract negotiation stage, though we do sort of chuckle when we picture Serkis demanding more dosh in Gollum’s voice.

Chances are we’ll find out soon enough that all three of them are on board the film officially, and that they’ll be reporting to set next February.

Now that it’s finally on track, the first of the two films is planned for release in December 2012.