Peter Jackson Announces Evangeline Lilly and Barry Humphries Have Joined the Cast of The Hobbit
06.20.11 by BJSprecher
You've got to hand it to Peter Jackson. Not only is the acclaimed filmmaker the co-writer (with Guillermo del Toro, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens), producer and director of the two-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy, The Hobbit, which he is currently shooting in New Zealand, but he somehow manages to find the time to personally update his fans about the production via his personal Facebook page. Jackson's latest entry, posted yesterday afternoon, announced the addition of Evangeline Lilly and Barry Humphries to the cast, saying that they "just about" round out major casting (so, there might be more?), and teased "a flurry of answers" to fan questions will be coming "soon."
Here is Jackson's full "Casting Update" post, which reveals that Lilly will be playing a new character and that Humphries will be playing his character via motion-capture:
Yikes! I can finally get back to some postings! We've finished our first block of shooting and moved straight into location scouting. More on that soon... But today, I'm thrilled to announce two new cast members who will be joining us for our second block of shooting.
Evangeline Lilly will be playing a new character — the Woodland Elf, Tauriel. Her name means 'daughter of Mirkwood' and, beyond that, we must leave you guessing! (No, there is no romantic connection to Legolas.) What is not a secret is how talented and compelling an actress Evangeline is; we are thrilled and excited she will be the one to bring our first true Sylvan Elf to life.
I'm also highly excited that Barry Humphries will be portraying the Goblin King, in much the way Andy Serkis created Gollum. Barry is perhaps best known for his business and social connections as the long-time manager of Dame Edna Everage. He has also been an ardent supporter of the rather misunderstood and unfairly maligned Australian politician, Sir Les Patterson. However, in his spare time, Barry is also a fine actor, and we're looking forward to seeing him invest the Goblin King with the delicate sensitivity and emotional depth this character deserves.
Evangeline and Barry, along with Welsh actor Luke Evans as Bard and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, just about rounds out the major casting. I cannot wait to get stuck into these new scenes!
More soon, including a flurry of answers to your questions. Sorry for the delay!
Jackson's LOTR prequel is based on The Hobbit by creator J.R.R. Tolkien and will be released in two parts — The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will open Dec. 14, 2012; The Hobbit: There and Back Again will open Dec. 13, 2013. Original LOTR cast members who will be reprising their roles in the prequel movies include Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Andy Serkis as Smeagol/Gollum, Hugo Weaving as Elrond and Sir Christopher Lee as Saruman. The new cast is led by Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, the title Hobbit who finds the "One Ring" that is the focal point of the drama in LOTR while on a quest to "burgle" from the dragon Smaug for a company of dwarves.