Peter Jackson announces two new casting coups for The Hobbit

As we reported a week ago, Rob Kazinski, the actor who was to play Fili, the youngest of Bilbo's dwarven companions in The Hobbit, had to leave the shoot for personal reasons. But the role wasn't left empty for long. Now there's a new dwarf in town.

The role of Fili is going to Dean O'Gorman, a Kiwi actor with fantasy street cred. O'Gorman has just finished the first season of his new TV show, The Almighty Johnsons, about a family who realizes they're incarnations of Norse gods. O'Gorman plays the arrogant Anders Johnson, who is also the Bragi, god of poetry.

Director Peter Jackson posted on his Facebook wall:

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.

The role of elf king Thranduil has also been cast. Lee Pace, who starred in the criminally canceled Pushing Daisies, as well as appeared in the criminally canceled Wonderfalls, plays the dwarf-hater and father of Legolas.

Jackson wrote:

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.

The only bad news? We still have to wait for its December 2012 release date.

(via TheOneRing)

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