'The Hobbit' scoop: Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis on board

The-Hobbit-GandalfFear not, Hobbit-watchers: The band is getting back together. On the heels of Friday’s announcement that Elijah Wood will play Frodo Baggins in director Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit, EW has confirmed that Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will each reprise their roles from the Lord of the Rings films as, respectively, the wizard Gandalf the Grey and the creature Gollum. Both actors had long been assumed by fans to be on board the production, though the unexplained delay in their official casting created some doubts. Both characters are critically important to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit tale; Gandalf recruits the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) to join a quest to reclaim a dragon’s treasure, and Gollum possesses a powerful ring that comes to play a central role in both The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Read more:
Elijah Wood will appear in ‘The Hobbit’ as Frodo Baggins
Elijah Wood in ‘The Hobbit': How would that work?
‘The Hobbit': Cate Blanchett joins the cast as Galadriel
‘Hobbit’ director Peter Jackson talks about casting a ‘heartthrob’ dwarf (Exclusive)
‘The Hobbit’: Martin Freeman to play Bilbo Baggins; other roles also cast

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  • Jobless

    Excellent news since recasting either one, especially Gandalf, would’ve been criminal.

    • Michael

      Whew! I was getting worried; I mean, these are the essential reprisals!!!

    • Matt W

      While I do agree on the criminal activities of replacing Gandalf, replacing Gollum would have been impossible.

    • Rush

      Ian McKellen is getting on in years, though. Christopher Lee certainly wouldn’t be available for Sauraman due to age and health reasons.

    • Brian

      What about Hugo Weaving? Elrond is pretty clutch in The Hobbit.

    • A.F. for EW

      Hooray!! Welcome back to both Ian and Andy!! HOORAY!!!!!

  • Rick Hunter

    Don’t forget Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood coming back!!!

    • Shlomo

      Shut up stupid

    • Jenkins Jenner

      Orlando who?

      • AcaseofGeo

        Orlando Bloom. He played one of the elves in the trilogy.

      • username

        im orlando magic

  • heather

    Hurray!

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  • Chris

    It seems like forever they’ve been talking about/making this movie. When is it supposed to be released?

    • JohnDoe

      December 2012, then December 2013 for the 2nd part.

      • Lolita

        The world ends Dec 21, 2012. Guess I’ll have to settle for only seeing part 1.

      • Joe Schmo

        Dang! With the world ending, they definitely shouldn’t have made it a 2 parter.

      • Misha Lauenstein

        Probably did it to save money that way. They’re only actually working on Part 1.

  • Mom in the Suburbs

    Great news! Wouldn’t be The Hobbit without them.

  • JohnDoe

    Deadline Hollywood also has mentioned that Christopher Lee is also in talks to return as Saruman. Great news. Without him, a White Council would be moot.

    • gf120581

      Excellent. Hopefully, given Lee’s advanced age, they’ll accommodate him as necessary to allow him to participate. If that means shooting his stuff in England, so be it.

      • Alicia

        I love Christopher Lee, and hope he lives to be 100 and keeps acting.

    • Anya

      It would be great to see him as Saruman again. I really wish they would’ve included his part as Sharkey in Return of the King.

      • AcaseofGeo

        His part was included in the extended DVD version which is the ONLY one I watch. It holds up much better story-wise than the admittedly excellent Oscar-winning version.

      • Katja

        I agree, Anya – much as I love the movies, I’m still surprised and disappointed that PJ didn’t include the Scouring of the Shire (and thus the Sharkey part). AcaseofGeo, a bit of him was included in the extended ROTK DVDs, but it wasn’t the part where they met him on the road back north, or when he was causing ruckus in the Shire as Sharkey. Those would have been fun to see. So I, too, hope Christopher Lee can be Saruman once again.

      • sabrina W

        seriously who watched the theatre version when there’s the extended edition available, doing the extended marathon is a serious endeavour, akin to frodo & gang trip from the shire to mordor and back, i’m beyond extatic about this news, good news coming out of middle-earth these days! good news indeed!

    • MCS

      I did read an interview with Lee saying he would not travel to New Zealand to shoot because of his age, hopefully they can do his stuff in England.

  • JeffDJ

    What about Hugo Weaving? Doesn’t Elrond make an appearance in THE HOBBIT when the Company stops by Rivendell?

  • Jackie

    Best news ever!

  • digitalscreamer

    is Hugo Weaving back as Elrond?

  • Liz

    Thank goodness! I was starting to get nervous

  • decee

    YESSSSSS!!!!

  • Anya

    So glad Ian and Andy will be reprising their roles :D The movie just wouldn’t have been the same without them.

  • Anya

    Will Frodo’s appearance be a cameo since he isn’t in The Hobbit? I guess this goes right along with them having Legolas and Galadriel in the movie as well. I wonder if John Rhys Davies will also make an appearance as Gimli.

    • gf120581

      Probably not. Gimili wasn’t even born yet when “The Hobbit” took place. One of the dwarves in the book is Gimil’s dad. I suppose he could voice Treebeard again.

      • aughra

        Gimli was 200 yrs old at the beginning of LOTR. As that’s about 50 years later, Gimli was alive during the Hobbit, as was Legolas. Gimli was probably living in the Iron Hills with King Dain, so we could see him in the Battle of the 5 Nations, at Lonely Mountain. Maybe we see Legolas in Mirkwood? His father was the King of the Wood elves there.

    • Dave

      Guessing (from speculation I’ve seen around), that Frodo will be used to frame the story (intro/narration) but not actually be in the proper story of Bilbo and co.

  • efrain

    Great news!

  • Trish

    It wouldn’t be the same without the original cast, I hope they all return.

    • Kat

      Heh, well they can’t ALL return. There’s just no way for people like Boromir or Faramir or Eomer to be in it, much as my eyes might wish they could be. And I’d actually be annoyed if they forced Aragorn into the movie, since he has nothing to do with the story, not even tangentially.

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