Luke Evans and Benedict Cumberbatch join 'The Hobbit'


Image Credit: Ash Knotek/Snappers/

Though shooting has been underway in New Zealand for months now, The Hobbit is still adding cast members — and now two of the last remaining major characters in director Peter Jackson’s two-part fantasy epic have been locked down. EW has confirmed that, as first reported by Deadline, English actor Luke Evans (pictured, left) — who played Apollo in last year’s Clash of the Titans and will co-star in the upcoming 3-D Three Musketeers — will play Bard the Bowman, who helps Hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins and company do battle with the dragon Smaug.

As for Smaug himself, English actor Benedict Cumberbatch will provide the voice and performance capture for the scaly, gold-hoarding villain. Cumberbatch is best known for playing an updated, modern-day Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series Sherlock. Coincidentally, Cumberbatch’s co-star in that series is none other than Martin Freeman, who’s playing Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, so Sherlock fans will get a little extra thrill from their Hobbit showdown.

Read more:
Orlando Bloom joins ‘Hobbit,’ has not aged, according to Peter Jackson
‘The Hobbit’: Peter Jackson returns to Bag End in new Facebook video
‘The Hobbit’: The cast speaks

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  • Kat-riel

    LOL “who helps Hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins and company do battle with the dragon Smaug.” Umm, spoiler alert? (who hasn’t read The Hobbit, though?) but there wasn’t really much “battling” of Smaug on the part of Bilbo and the dwarves. They ran and hid from him, Bilbo talked to him briefly, and then the dragon flew off and Bard took care of him. Well, technically I guess that bird relayed the info Bilbo found out, but it would be more accurate to say “Bilbo unknowingly helped Bard battle the dragon thanks to the work of an aging bird messenger.” Ahhh, splitting hairs is way too much fun for nerds.

    • Edward

      Well Thanks for showing us that you read the book and are more geek than Josh… AND for spoiling it more to us!!!

    • jester

      You joke about how it was a spoiler alert only to give a full fledged spoiler instead of the minor one that the article provided? You’re not that bright are you?

  • Your mom

    15 birds… in 5 fir trees…

  • hm

    Pleased that Benedict and Martin are working their chemistry on the big screen but really, the more important question is WHEN WILL SHERLOCK RETURN. (They already did well at the Baftas and Peabody; hope the Emmys will take note.)

    • Ruby

      AGREED. The Emmys better take note of Fringe as well.

    • Sarah

      Series 2 of Sherlock is being filmed right now. The only info we’ve got on when it’ll be broadcast is ‘fall’. The speculation is that we’ll get it in the UK around October/November, but it won’t be broadcast in the US until early next year.

      • Javy

        Aie aie aie! Trop bon! Peter Jackson pourra t-il faire mieux que la torilgie du Seigneur des Anneaux? Ce qui pourrait faire croire e0 une re9ponse positive, c’est que non seulement, la technologie a e9volue9e ainsi que l’expe9rience du re9al mais aussi et surtout le fait qu’il est choisi d’adapter l’oeuvre unique en deux films! Une chose est sure, e7a sera vraiment e9norme.

    • Aniekeme

      I used to think I wouldn’t like the ebook thing, but once you pick one up, you rizelae it was never about holding the book, and feeling the weight in your hand, its all about the words on the page, and since those don’t change from format to format, the ebooks are books that are simply more transportable. Love it or hate it, the ereaders are here to say, and anyone who reads off of one is not any less of a book lover than someone who wants pages to turn, because in the end, the same words are read by all.

  • J.

    Thrilled that Benedict is going to be in it!!!! Sherlock and Watson together again!

  • Tom

    Why is EW always a day behind with this type of news? The casting discussed here was all over Twitter and other sites yesterday afternoon.

    • Grumpster

      What an a55hole you are!!! Some of us who can’t give a rat’s a$$ about Twitter were out FISHING and enjoying real life and just hearing about this now. F* you and your instant gratification self.

      • chattypatra

        LOL! Grumpster, I wouldn’t have phrased it the way you did, but your post cracked me up because I couldn’t care less about Twitter either. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Chelsea

    Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, AND now Benedict? Not to mention returning LOTR actors…this is probably my favorite collective cast of a movie ever. Hopefully the dvds will have the abundance of cast interviews that the extended LOTR ones did!

    • Anne

      If only they could get Ioan Gruffurd in there somewhere. I’d have nothing more to ask for.

      • Ruby

        Completely and utterly agree. He would truly complete the lot and make it the best-cast movie of all time (at least for women).

    • Moira

      …Not to mention the always-superb Lee Pace. This is a REALLY stellar cast.

      • Melody

        Agreed! I was a bit late to the Lee Pace news (only found out a couple of weeks ago) and to me his casting is the most exciting. Stellar cast indeed. Shame Benedict won’t get a physical role aside from performance capture. Hopefully it catches some good facial expressions from him. He’s amazing.

  • Jeremy

    I wish Richard Kile would have been the voice of Smauge again, like he was in the Rankin/Bass Hobbit animated film.

    • Smaug’s Li’l Brother Puff

      Richard Boone.

      Who’s been dead for 30 years.

  • chocolateislove

    Sherlock’s going to be in The Hobbit?? I think my head just exploded from the awesomeness.

    • Nur

      on the hobbit about bilbo bnagigs, and that he is a heroic character,but to be honest, i would NEVER do it again. it was a waste of my time to read such a bad book! but if u do want to read it, then all i can say is, you will have to see for yourself what u will think of it! enjoy?

  • Ravenous

    I had been reading in some recent stories that LEONARD NIMOY was going to be the voice for SMAUG.Did he change his mind or what?

    • Meli

      Which is what you get when you rely on such ‘reliable’ media sources as Twitter (see Tom’s gripe above).

      • ciego

        Neuer Beitrag zum Thema Leichen im Keller .? Very amusing was mein Geburtstags-Kompagnon da vraezpft hat. Hast Du eine Ahnung auf wann dieser musikalische Exkurs datiert?

  • Julie

    I fear there are possibly some people here who have never watched “Sherlock” or know much about Benedict. If so – Shame on you!
    (Sherlock’s first episode for the 2nd season (are 3 episodes a “season”)has been filmed and next week they start on the 2nd – I think it’s suppose to be shown in England in November, which means for the U.S. it won’t be until Spring of 2012).
    If anyone had seen the comments from Ian he said he had seen a section of Benedict’s screen test and both facially & voice wise he was “electrifying”.
    Benedict is a great actor no one need wonder just how him being the Dragon or other voice in the movie will be. It’s Benedict – enough said.

  • Rebecca

    Booooooo. Anyone sane wanted Nimoy as Smaug.

    • Chelsea

      Why exactly? Benedict’s voice is perfect for the part and since Peter Jackson has chosen to do motion capture for Smaug (the same way he did for Gollum)he needs somebody who can give their all not just in voice but physically. Nimoy is about 500 years old. It wouldn’t have worked.

    • Meli

      Go ahead and express your disappointment over this by boycotting the movie. The rest of us will actually enjoy the movie without you.

  • Julie

    Apparently you have no idea who Benedict is. Nimoy is wonderful and maybe you’ll spend the movie thinking he still should of been the voice or maybe you’ll really listen and think it turned out o.k.
    Maybe Nimoy didn’t want to do it, maybe it was kind of a rumor. But Benedict tested for it, it wasn’t given to him, and he got the role. It’s not his fault Nimoy isn’t in it.

  • Musicman

    I wanted Benedict to play Bard and Tim Curry to voice Smaug, myself. But, apparently, Ben’s voice can be made to sound evil as well.

  • slugworth

    I heard that Nimoy is going to sing the ballad of Bilbo for this movie, rock on!

  • Julie

    Benedict can do voices and accents – is voice can go higher or it can go lower – he had said even before the Hobbit was going to be a movie one of his favorite characters was Smaug and he loves the idea of playing a villian. He’s ready with whatever voice will be needed.

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