The Hobbit casting
Rumours have been quited by Peter Jackson himself on who will "return" in The Hobbit movies. According to the statement Ian McKellen will be playing Gandalf yet again. The character Elrond and possibly Galadriel will be part of The Hobbit as well. It's not clear (yet?) if Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchet will be playing their respective characters. Luckily the rumours of Aragorn, Gimli and Merry(!) have been quited for good. Phew!
The IGN article in whole:
UK, December 9, 2009 - There's been all kind of speculation in recent months as to which Lord of the Rings characters will show up in The Hobbit.
Peter Jackson - who is producing the prequel - has now put a stop to the gossip by confirming (to MTV News ) that only three LOTR alumni will be returning to Middle Earth.
He said: "Gandalf, being a 2,000-year-old wizard, is still around and plays a major role in 'The Hobbit,' and we're having Ian McKellen reprise."
We knew that already, but who else? "There's a couple of other characters," said Jackson. "Elrond, who was played by Hugo Weaving [in the original films], and there's a possibility of Galadriel, who was played by Cate Blanchett."
This means that the likes of Viggo Mortensen, Dominic Monaghan and John Rhys-Davies - who have been rumoured to return - will not show up in Hobbiton after all.
Talking about how they selected which characters would be back, Jackson said: "In book terms, the world of 'The Hobbit' takes place 60 years before 'The Lord of the Rings,' as it was written by Tolkien. So, not a lot of the characters actually feature, because they weren't around yet."
The film is set to be begin filming mid-2010.