Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis sign on for 'The Hobbit'
January 11th, 2011
04:05 PM ET

Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis sign on for 'The Hobbit'

As Marquee reported yesterday, Elijah Wood has officially signed on to appear in Peter Jackson's two-part saga "The Hobbit." Now, fellow former "Lord of the Rings" stars Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis are following suit. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the duo will reprise their roles as Gandalf and Gollum, respectively.

Both characters were introduced in J.R.R. Tolkien's "Hobbit" novel. Gandalf the wizard helps set the adventure into motion and appears throughout the book while Gollum shows up in a memorable chapter in which Bilbo Baggins finds the One Ring in his lair.

"The Hobbit," which also stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, is scheduled to begin shooting in New Zealand in February. The films are currently slated to arrive in theaters in December 2012 and 2013.

The Hollywood Reporter also writes that Orlando Bloom has been made an offer to revisit his "LOTR" role as elf Legolas for "The Hobbit," though a deal has not been made.

Stay tuned!

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Filed under: Celebrities • movies

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Bedrich

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

    March 2, 2011 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. Gary

    How about Jim Cary as Tom Bombadill?

    January 12, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JDW

      Clearly, Robin WIlliams is Tom Bombadil. Though I'd like to see the book translated faithfully, I'd love there to be an excuse to get him in there.

      January 13, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kimberly

    Martin Freeman as Bilbo?! Is it 2012 yet?

    January 12, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Common Sense

    I hope it is not as bad as the LOTR trilogy they left way to much out from the books and it was to comical.

    January 12, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. Papi Mike

    Love it...love it ...love it!! LOVE LOTR!!!

    January 12, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. Beth

    /SQUEEEEE

    /ENDSQUEEEE

    January 12, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  7. BassAckwards

    I agree, too. And the picture at the top of this article IS Andy Serkis, not John Hurt.

    January 12, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • BassAckwards

      Sorry. I meant to agree with Thoren Oakenshield and Frankie.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. James

    From what I understand Frodo will be doing more than just narrating, he will be imagining himself in the role of Bilbo as he reads his papers. That means that Elijah Wood will "star" in the movies. Hopefully this turns out to be just a rumor.

    January 12, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. Thoren Oakenshield

    Generally, it's pretty accepted when screenwriters and directors take liberty with the books they turn into film. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy should be an exception. These four books are timeless masterpieces and should be filmed as close to the written books as possible. They are timeless classics because of the way they were written. Why should a single word be changed; why should charactors be included who were not in the original book?

    January 12, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      I agree. Theres an old saying that goes "Too many cooks spoil the broth." What that means is that too many ingrediants are put into the broth by too many cooks, ruining what would have been a nice pot of soup. JRR Tolkein made a pretty nice pot of soup in these books that has withstood the test of time (The Hobbit was written before World War II, LOTR was written just after the war). Although both The Hobbit and LOTR will be great movies for people who have never read the books, those of us who have read them (indeed, many of us purists have read them several time ) will feel that Peter Jackson should be the person serving up the soup, not an additional cook whose added ingrediants may very well spoil the soup.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Limedust

      It seems to me that the LOTR trilogy on film left out much that was unnecessary in order to create an effective film narrative; perhaps Jackson and crew are adding some things that they find necessary to The Hobbit to create the same. Also, to be honest, 'Masterpiece' is quite a stretch . . . Tolkien's books are okay at best and terrifically, boringly sanctimonious at worst.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. RickR

    There's one character they haven't announced as cast yet- and he definitely is in the Hobbit- and that's Elrond. I hope they are trying to get Hugo Weaving back for that role. As for the other LOTR actors like Legolas, etc., they may be included simply to frame the story as flashback bookends or intervals and in order to keep The Hobbit tied to the later storyline for those who haven't/won't read the saga.

    January 12, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • BassAckwards

      There aren't many books even remotely similar to The Hobbit or LOTR. There shouldn't be a need to tie the two together, even for those who haven't read either. Was it necessary to have Captain Kirk appear in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine? No.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Craig

      BassAckwards...I think his point is that Elrond IS in The Hobbit and they haven't announced his casting yet. The "tie in" I suspect he is meaning is by having the same actors play the characters that appear in both books.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. ffs

    I kinda feel like a nerd – but I can't wait for the Hobbit – it's the book that got me into lotr

    January 12, 2011 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
  12. 66Biker

    More... Lord of the Rings. :)

    January 12, 2011 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. JDW

    ORlando Bloom's character could very reasonably be present in Mirkwood, it was his father that imprisoned the dwarves. Galadriel was not specifically mentioned, but as one of "the Council of the WIse", would have been involved in the decision to drive Sauron from Mirkwood. A scene describing that council would also make sense.

    Frodo, however, was not yet born as of the Hobbit timeline, he is 78 years younger than Bilbo, who was 52 when the hobbit began.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • NK

      What I've read is that Frodo will be in the "prologue" to each film. It is after the LOTR but before he departs Middle-Earth, and he is looking through Bilbo's old papers and writing in the book – perhaps some narration or whatnot. So I imagine it's a small part.

      January 12, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      The Council of the Wise was comprised of the Istari. No elves need apply.

      January 12, 2011 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
    • JDW

      Not to nit pick, but the WHite Council was composed of elves and Istari. All of the holders of the elven rings were certainly part of the council. Galadriel herself called the council together.

      January 13, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. Huh?

    The fact that Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood, and Cate Blanchett are needed for this tells you the movie is taking some liberties with the story. None of their characters were present in the book.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Erin Tunell

      Well, that's true...but it would be cool to connect the first movies with this one in more than one way. Frodo narrating the story is a good idea- like he's telling it after Bilbo was gone. Legolas would have been around at the time of the Hobbit. Bilbo did visit the kingdom of Mirkwood and Legoals was the prince. He was alive and even just a quick cameo would be legit. Galadriel I'm not sure on because I haven't read the Hobbit since 7th grade lol. Either way I think it will probably be fantastic. LOL I totally sound like a LOTR geek- I"m not, I just have a really good memory. :P

      January 12, 2011 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      They took a lot of liberties with LOTR, I would expect the same with The Hobbit.

      January 12, 2011 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Enigma

      Actually it's going to be done in two movies. The first movie will be the entire Hobbit movie and then the second movie will take place after the hobbit but before the fellowship of the ring. Also i have thought that frodo could be in the movie by the movie starting by bilbo telling frodo the story of the hobbit

      January 12, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. fan

    guys i believe the actor in the picture is andy serkis aka gollum, though i mayh be wrong

    January 12, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  16. dave

    Rob, yeah, a few years away. It is definately in 2 parts. 1:dec2112, 2:de2013. Hang tight.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Rob

    All I want to know is when will they start filming. Its been eight years sense the last of the trilogy. Its looking like it'll take several more years to finish. I'm a huge fan of the Tolkien stories. I just can't wait to see it. Though I bet its going to be in two parts.

    January 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Did you ever read the article? All your questions were answered in that article.

      January 12, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  18. JJ

    Yea, that is definitely John Hurt! Ian and John look so much alike though!

    January 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frankie

      Yes. John Hurt and Ian Mekellan do look a lot alike, but neither of them look even remotely like Andy Serkis, pictures above

      January 12, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • fishsew

      It's definitely Andy Serks. Here's a picture of John Hurt. They are similar, but that is definitely Andy Serks in the above picture. http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://imagecache6.allposters.com/LRG/10/1062/FRML000Z.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.filmbug.com/db/4301&usg=__jdKj4Mxdbbfe8GAWisaBkqFH7rs=&h=450&w=360&sz=35&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=cnjxmQVMzAJLrM:&tbnh=144&tbnw=113&prev=/images%3Fq%3Djohn%2Bhurt%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox%26rlz%3D1I7GPEA_en%26biw%3D1419%26bih%3D735%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=123&vpy=88&dur=3356&hovh=251&hovw=201&tx=51&ty=274&ei=xbItTZj8DIOB8gbbpay1Cg&oei=xbItTZj8DIOB8gbbpay1Cg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=33&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0

      January 12, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  19. eric

    this picture is of different yet still amazing actor John Hurt.

    January 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • doughnuts

      Sorry, but that pic is of Andy Serkis.

      January 12, 2011 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
    • FullMetalTackett

      It is Andy Serkis. I am confused lol And @JJ It is not of Ian either. It's clearly Andy.

      January 12, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • eric

      the picture was john hurt before, but someone at cnn thought it was sir ian mckellen. they fixed the problem by changing the picture to andy serkis. at least cnn could have deleted my comment...grr.

      January 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  20. mojo

    Yay, can't wait!

    January 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |

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