Saoirse Ronan Cast in The Hobbit?
01.28.11 by Ryan
With director Peter Jackson rehabilitating in a Wellington, New Zealand, hospital suffering from a perforated stomach ulcer, an unofficial casting confirmation has appeared online for Jackson's upcoming two-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit.
According to an interview by Irish Film and Television with casting director Ros Hubbard (via ComingSoon), Saoirse Ronan has been cast in the prequel. Hubbard was asked about the many Irish actors cast in the movie, including James Nesbitt (as Bofur) and Aidan Turner (as Kili), to which Hubbard slipped and mentioned Ronan was cast as well.
And Jimmy [Nesbitt] is thrilled to bits, his whole family have gone out, it is just wonderful. And working with Peter Jackson is like working with a family. So they’ll have a great time. Saoirse’s family will go too, everyone is very close and very loving on those sorts of jobs. It’s not like typical studio movies at all.
The rumor of Ronan's casting isn't exactly new. The actress was in The Lovely Bones, so it isn't hard to imagine that Jackson would try to reunite with the young actress. Jackson has already found ways to bring back Elijah Wood as Frodo and Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, despite the fact that neither character appeared in J.R.R. Tolkien's original Hobbit book, so it's clear that Jackson enjoys working with actors he's directed in the past.
The character Ronan would be playing is unknown, though FilmSchoolRejects speculates that it could be the elven warrior Itaril, mentioned in a casting notice the site intercepted.
[ITARIL] FEMALE, A WOODLAND ELF, this character is one the Silvan Elves. The Silvan Elves are seen as more earthy and practical. Shorter than other elves, she is still quick and lithe and physically adept, being able to fight with both sword and bow. Showing promise as a fighter at a young age, ITARIL was chosen to train to become part of the Woodland King’s Guard. This is the only life she has ever expected to live, until she meets and secretly falls in love with a young ELF LORD. This role will require a wig and contact lenses to be worn. Some prosthetic make-up may also be required. LEAD. AGE: 17-27. ACCENT – STANDARD R.P.
Fansite The One Ring, however, took exception to the casting notice, which included several roles, claiming that "we’ve been notified that this is not a valid list of lead roles and, in fact, some of the roles listed in the links are not relevant." The site did not specify which of the roles they heard were "not relevant", leaving room for the speculation to the continue. Until the official confirmation comes out, it;'s anyone;s guess which role Ronan is playing.
The first installment of The Hobbit is scheduled to open in December of 2012, though the movie's mid-February production start has been delayed due to Jackson's ulcer. Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will be returning as Gandalf the wizard and Gollum, respectively, with Martin Freeman playing the young Bilbo Baggins, who must lead a band of dwarves to the Lonely Mountain in order to "burgle" treasure from a dragon named Smaug.