Luke Evans Joins The Hobbit as Bard the Bowman; Benedict Cumberbatch's Role Revealed
06.17.11 by Ryan
With production already underway on director Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit, the casting of another major role has been revealed. Deadline reports that Luke Evans — fresh from performing as the swashbuckling Aramis in the upcoming 3-D adaptation of The Three Musketeers — has been cast as Bard the Bowman, a character that plays a larger role in the latter half of the 1937 J.R.R. Tolkien novel. With The Hobbit being adapted into two movies, that means Evans likely won't play a huge role in the first part, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but will have a more substantial part in the second part, The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
The role comes as a bit of good luck for Evans, having recently lost out on the lead role in The Bourne Legacy, which ultimately went to Jeremy Renner, and then the part of Tom Buchanan in director Baz Luhrmann's 3-D adaptation of The Great Gatsby to Joel Edgerton.
Evans joins a cast that includes Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, and the recently cast Benedict Cumberbatch, whose unspecified role was speculated to be Bard the Bowman.
It was Freeman who accidentally spilled the news of Cumberbatch's casting but wouldn't reveal which character he would play. Deadline reports that Cumberbatch will play two roles, providing the voice of the Necromancer, as well as portraying the dragon Smaug in motion capture. Smaug is the impetus for the adventure of The Hobbit and is the main antagonist of the movie. Cumberbatch isn't too well known in the U.S., but he plays the title role in BBC One's Sherlock Holmes TV series (with Freeman as Dr. Watson) and appears in director Steven Spielberg's upcoming War Horse.
The Hobbit was written by Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens. The cast also includes Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Richard Armitage, and Sylvester McCoy.