As has been long rumored, former Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy (pictured) has been officially confirmed to have secured the role of wizard Radagast the Brown in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit.
In a surprising move, it was also announced that the Acadamy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett will reprise her role of the regal elf Galadriel from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. This brings a healthy dose of feminine power to the production — there are no strong female characters in Tolkien’s Hobbit, and Blanchett’s contributions will be reverse-engineered into the story, much as those of Liv Tyler as Arwen were exaggerated beyond the original written role in The Lord of the Rings. With the book being adapted into two films by Jackson and former director-designate Guillermo del Toro, there’s plenty of room to explore what may have been going on behind the scenes during Bilbo Baggins’ trek to the Lonely Mountain …
Also added to the Hobbit cast: Ken Stott as dwarf lord Balin and Mikael Persbrandt as the shapeshifter Beorn. They join the already announced Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner among a whole company of dwarves.
Still no official word that Sir Ian McKellen will reprise his role of Gandalf, although it’s widely expected, or that Hugo Weaving will return to play half-elf sage Elrond. But there are rumors that Orlando Bloom is close to reprising his role as elven archer Legolas. The character’s father, elf-king Thranduil, does appear in The Hobbit.