Although filming is firmly underway in New Zealand for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit parts 1 and 2, there were still some secondary characters that needed to be cast, including the voice of Smaug the Dragon and Bard the Bowman. Well, it's done. Cast. Revealed. And guess who got the parts?
Are you ready to find out?
Right, so first things first.
Actor Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans, Immortals) has snatched the role of Bard the Grim (probably Bard the Bowman), a secondary but important character in The Hobbit. Why is he important? Well, in case you haven't read the book, we won't reveal the reason here, but let's just say it'll have something to do with the second casting news below.
Luke Evans has bagged the role of Bard in The Hobbit, a last major part that Peter Jackson hadn't cast in a production that's underway in New Zealand. Bard the Grim is a skilled archer, and the heir of King Girion of Dale. The king was killed by the talking dragon Smaug. The character plays a greater role in the second film, and is somewhat reminiscent of the action-hero exploits of Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn, I'm told.
Now on for the second exciting casting news.
While some people have been speculating for months that Leonard Nimoy or even Bill Nighy would get to voice Smaug the Dragon, the role has officially gone to Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch.
Again from Deadline's report:
After reporting today that Luke Evans will play Bard in the Peter Jackson-directed The Hobbit and wondering who'll voice the dragon Smaug, Deadline can now tell you that it will be Benedict Cumberbatch. He'll portray Smaug via motion capture. He is already on the picture, providing the voice of the character Necromancer.
While this will come as no great surprise, since Cumberbatch's involvement in the film had already been revealed a few weeks back at the BAFTA awards, when his Sherlock co-star and The Hobbit's own Bilbo Baggins, actor Martin Freeman, let slip that Cumberbatch was going to film a part in the movie, it wasn't revealed which part it would be.
What's surprising, however, is that Cumberbatch (whom we'll soon see in Steven Spielberg's War Horse, as well as in the spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and HBO's five-part mini-series Parade's End) is also voicing another character: the Necromancer.
In The Hobbit, the Necromancer is another name given to a certain Lord of the Rings villain ... namely [spoiler alert] Sauron.
Now how interesting is that?
So what do you guys think about the casting news? Do you think they've cast Bard the Bowman and Smaug correctly?