Cate Blanchett, Ken Stott, Sylvester McCoy and Mikael Persbrandt have joined the cast of Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic The Hobbit. Also joining them are Ryan Gage, Jed Brophy and William Kircher. The films, which are scheduled to commence principal photography in February 2011, mark Jackson’s return to Middle-earth following his Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy. The announcement was made jointly today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema, Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. and Steve Cooper, co-Chief Executive Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Peter Jackson welcomed the news of Cate Blanchett’s return to Middle-earth “Cate is one of my favorite 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.” On the casting of Scottish actor Ken Stott, Jackson commented “Fran and I have long been fans of Ken’s work and are excited he will be joining us on this journey.” Jackson also welcomed the addition to the cast of Swedish actor, Mikael Persbrandt, saying, “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.”
The actors join the previously announced cast including Martin Freeman (TV’s Sherlock, Breaking and Entering) as Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage (upcoming Captain America: The First Avenger), Aidan Turner (TV’s Being Human), Robert Kazinsky (TVs EastEnders), Graham McTavish (Secretariat), John Callen (TV’s Power Rangers Jungle Fury), Stephen Hunter (TV’s All Saints), Mark Hadlow (King Kong) andPeter Hambleton (TV’s The Strip). Additional cast announcements include James Nesbitt (Millions and TV’s Cold Feet) and newcomer Adam Brown.