AceShowbiz - Director Peter Jackson has tapped %cLee Pace% to star as the Elven King Thranduil in "The Hobbit". He has also found an actor to portray Fili, casting New Zealand actor %cDean O'Gorman% to replace %cRob Kazinsky%, who left the role vacant earlier in April.
Peter has taken to his Facebook page to reveal the casting news. The post read, "Dean O'Gorman will be playing Fili. Dean's a terrific Kiwi actor, who I am thrilled to be working with. He's recently been in an excellent TV series down here called 'The Almighty Johnsons', and I should let fans of that show know that our shooting schedule allows Dean to continue with a second series next year. Dean will be joining us next week."
"I'm also pleased to announce that Lee Pace will be playing the Elven King Thranduil," the message went on. "Casting these Tolkien stories is very difficult, especially the Elven characters, and Lee has always been our first choice for Thranduil. He's going to be great. We loved his performance in a movie called 'The Fall' a few years ago, and have been hoping to work with him since. When we were first discussing who would be right for Thranduil, Lee came into mind almost immediately."
Additionally, %cHugo Weaving% allegedly will reprise his "Lord of the Rings" role as Elrond. Stuff (via Cinema Blend) has reported that Melissa Booth, "The Hobbit" spokesperson, has confirmed to the site about rumor suggesting that Hugo was spotted in Wellington.
In "Lord of the Rings" mythology, Thranduil is the father of Legolas and plays a supporting role in "The Hobbit", while Fili is one of the Bilbo Baggins' dwarf companions. As for Elrond, he is the father of Arwen, played in "Lord of the Rings" trilogy by %cLiv Tyler%.
Lee is best known for his role on ABC series "Pushing Daisies" as Ned. The role made him nominated for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy at 2008 Golden Globe Awards. He has also starred in "Marmaduke" as Phil Winslow. He will appear in "The Twilight Saga's Breaking Dawn" as Garrett.
Meanwhile, Dean started his acting career by appearing on the television movie, "The Rogue Stallion", at the age of fourteen. He also appeared as multiple characters on "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and "Xena: Warrior Princess". He made guest appearances on shows including "Go Girls" and "The Cult".
Hugo is best known as Agent Smith in "The Matrix" trilogy. He has also voiced Megatron in the first two films of "Transformers" franchise, and will be once again providing voice for Megatron in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon". He will next be seen in "Captain America: The First Avenger".
"The Hobbit" follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever.
The fantasy film has %cMartin Freeman% taking the main role as Bilbo, and %cRichard Armitage% playing Thorin. %cIan McKellen%, %cElijah Wood% and %cOrlando Bloom% reprise their role as Gandalf the Grey, Frodo Baggins, and Legolas respectively. Fran Walsh, Guillermo del Toro, and Philippa Boyens team up to pen the script for the film which is due in December 2012.
Based on a novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, "The Hobbit" is split into two parts which are shot back-to-back. The second installment, "The Hobbit 2", is expected to hit theaters in 2013.