Hopefully Middle Earth during the Third Age! Whee! After much ado it appears as though the Hobbit is moving forward. I was originally very excited that Guillermo del Toro was on board to direct but due to the time commitment necessary for this job he has moved on to other things. This means that Peter Jackson has been signed to direct the two films that will tell the story of the Hobbit. And the be fair, Jackson is still a dream director for this story!
Today a significant part of the casting has been announced. A handful of the major parts have yet to be confirmed but we'll keep our fingers crossed that they are still going ahead. The announced parts thus far are as follows:
Bilbo Baggins - Martin Freeman
Thorin Oakensheild - Richard Armitage
Fili - Rob Kazinsky
Kili - Aidan Turner
Oin - John Callen
Gloin (Gimli's dad) - Peter Hambleton
Dori - Mark Hadlow
Dwalin - Graham McTavish
Bombur - Stephen Hunter
There is word that a number of actors from the Lord of the Rings are returning for this stretch of the story. Sir Ian McKellen has been the most vocal of these actors, and I can't imagine anyone else as Gandalf. The yet unconfirmed parts acted by known players are:
Gandalf - Sir Ian McKellen
Gollum - Andy Serkis
Elrond - Hugo Weaving
Rumor has it that Jimmy Nesbitt and David Tennant may also be awarded roles. There are a handful of juicy parts such as Bard, The Elven King (Legolas's dad), and Beorn that hopefully will be filled soon. Currently there is also a lot of speculation about who will voice and play the devastating dragon Smaug. No word has arrived yet on who will voice this part. Friends, this is incredibly exciting news from New Zealand! Having been phenomenally impressed by the Lord of the Rings saga in Peter Jackson's hands, I expect that this story too will be lovingly crafted. We shall have to watch closely to see this project reach fruition!
After all, "the road goes ever on and on,
down from the door where it began . . ."