Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has added Billy Connolly to round up its cast ensemble. The Scottish veteran actor has been tapped to tackle an important role as Thorin Oakenshield's cousin, who is also a great dwarf warrior, Dain Ironfoot.
Of Connolly's casting, Jackson said, "We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of Dwarves, than Billy Connolly, the Big Yin himself." The filmmaker added, "With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of 'The Hobbit' is now complete. We can't wait to see him on the Battlefield!"
By joining the highly anticipated fantasy movie, Connolly is set to star opposite the likes of Martin Freeman as lead protagonist Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as Thorin, and Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey. Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee and Hugo Weaving also support the film.
"The Hobbit" centers on the adventure of Bilbo Baggins as he is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, he finds himself joining a company of dwarves led by Thorin Oakensheild in the epic journey.
The movie has been filming in New Zealand for months now and it should be completed by July. In addition to serving behind the lens, Jackson co-writes the screenplay along with Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro.
Warner Bros. Pictures has scheduled a December 14 U.S. release for the first "Hobbit" movie, while its follow-up, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" will be released nationwide on December 13, 2013.