Hugo Weaving is back for The Hobbit (Ian McKellen says so!)

It's been rumored for months, but now it's confirmed: Hugo Weaving will once again play Elrond in Peter Jackson's film version of The Hobbit.

Weaving's involvement in Jackson's two-part adaptation of the Tolkien novel has been rumored for some time, but it was confirmed by fellow The Lord of the Rings alumnus Ian McKellen. In a post at his blog, McKellen started by mentioning that star Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, would be taking three weeks off to shoot a few episodes of his BBC series Sherlock. McKellen wrote:

Martin Freeman has left The Hobbit.

This is not another April Fool, just a May Fact. Before signing as Bilbo, Martin had agreed to make three 90-minute TV films in London, again playing Dr Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes. No worries: he'll be back in Middle Earth after our first hiatus, during which Peter Jackson will have spare time to edit the scenes already completed. The rest of the cast remains on duty for another few weeks, working on hobbit-less sections of the film. These involve dwarves of course but also elves, with Hugo Weaving back for a stretch as Lord Elrond.

Weaving played Elrond, Lord of Rivendell, in all three installments of The Lord of the Rings, and since he gives Bilbo and his party shelter in The Hobbit, thus beginning their friendship, it was hoped that Weaving would encore as the wise and powerful elf in the film version.

The Australian actor joins fellow LOTR vets McKellen (Gandalf), Elijah Wood (Frodo), Ian Holm (old Bilbo), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Orlando Bloom (Legolas) and Andy Serkis (Gollum) in the film, which is now shooting in New Zealand. Part one will be released Dec. 19, 2012.

Anyone else left from the cast who should be in The Hobbit as well? Anyone you'd like to see?

(via Slashfilm)

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