We thought we already knew this - it was strongly rumoured as long as six months ago - but Peter Jackson has just confirmed via his Facepage that Orlando Bloom is returning to Middle Earth for The Hobbit.
The exact circumstances of his appearance aren't clear, since Legolas doesn't feature in the book at all. But then neither do Galadriel or Frodo, and that hasn't stopped Cate Blanchett and Elijah Wood getting the call to pack for New Zealand. Bilbo and co do pass through Legolas' birthplace Mirkwood though, and encounter Legolas' father, the Elvenking Thranduil (who's being played in the film by Lee Pace), so maybe there's something there. Elves are long-lived after all...
"Ten years ago, Orlando Bloom created an iconic character with his portrayal of Legolas," says Jackson. "I'm excited to announce today that we'll be revisiting Middle Earth with him once more. I’m thrilled to be working with Orlando again. Funny thing is, I look older—and he doesn’t! I guess that's why he makes such a wonderful elf."
Shooting on The Hobbit is currently underway. You may have heard about it.