Peter Jackson has added a load of actors to The Hobbit, with one making a welcome return to the world of Tolkien. Cate Blanchett has agreed to reprise her role as the powerful elf Galadriel, while Ken Stott, Sylvester McCoy, Mikael Persbrandt, Ryan Gage, Jed Brophy and William Kircher are also jumping aboard.
While Lord of the Rings veteran Galadriel doesn’t actually crop up in the original book of The Hobbit, she’s certainly old enough to appear in the film’s timeline, and she’s also in both The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, which take place long, long before this story.
“Cate is one of my favourite actors to work with and I couldn't be more thrilled to have her reprise the role she so beautifully brought to life in the earlier films,” said Peter Jackson in the official release, picked up by Coming Soon and The One Ring.
McCoy, still probably best known as the seventh actor to play The Doctor in Doctor Who, has won the role of wizard Radagast the Brown. His casting is also not much of a surprise, since he’s been dropping huge hints for ages that he got the part.
Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt’s casting also leaked out fairly recently, but now Jackson has confirmed that he’s playing the shape shifter Beorn. “The role of Beorn is an iconic one and Mikael was our first choice for the part. Since seeing him read for the role we can't imagine anyone else playing this character.”
Stott is more of a surprise, and he’ll be playing the key character of dwarf Balin (whose tomb we saw in Fellowship of the Ring). But it’s clear that Jackson championed his casting: “Fran and I have long been fans of Ken's work and are excited he will be joining us on this journey.”
As for the rest, Gage will be Drogo Baggins, Jed Brophy is dwarf Nori and William Kircher is fellow beardy shortarse Bifur, whose casting rounds out the company of Thorin Oakenshield.
Jackson plans to start shooting in New Zealand this coming February, with Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, James Nesbitt, Rob Kazinsky, Graham McTavish, John Callen, Stephen Hunter, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton and newcomer Adam Brown already in the cast.