Evangeline Lilly & Barry Humphries Join the Cast of 'The Hobbit', Too
Some interesting casting news that Peter Jackson decided to unveil on Father's Day (in the US). Jackson took to his Facebook again for an update, in the process revealing two more major casting announcements for his already-underway adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Playing a new character, a Woodland Elf named Tauriel, is Canadian actress and "Lost" regular Evangeline Lilly, in her next big film role after Real Steel. Additionally, Australian voice and character actor Barry Humphries will portray the Goblin King from the story as Jackson says, "in much the way Andy Serkis created Gollum." More great additions!
I think it's best to just let you hear what PJ himself said in his post about casting both Lilly and Humphries:
"Evangeline Lilly will be playing a new character—the Woodland Elf, Tauriel. Her name means 'daughter of Mirkwood' and, beyond that, we must leave you guessing! (No, there is no romantic connection to Legolas.) What is not a secret is how talented and compelling an actress Evangeline is; we are thrilled and excited she will be the one to bring our first true Sylvan Elf to life."
"I'm also highly excited that Barry Humphries will be portraying the Goblin King, in much the way Andy Serkis created Gollum. Barry is perhaps best known for his business and social connections as the long-time manager of Dame Edna Everage. He has also been an ardent supporter of the rather misunderstood and unfairly maligned Australian politician, Sir Les Patterson. However, in his spare time, Barry is also a fine actor, and we're looking forward to seeing him invest the Goblin King with the delicate sensitivity and emotional depth this character deserves."
"Evangeline and Barry, along with Welsh actor Luke Evans as Bard and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, just about rounds out the major casting. I cannot wait to get stuck into these new scenes!"
Those other two, Luke Evans as Bard, and Benedict Cumberbatch as the dragon Smaug, were confirmed earlier this week, as it sounds like they're trying to wrap up casting for both movies (An Unexpected Journey in 2012, There and Back Again in 2013) so they can move full-force into shooting for the rest of the year. I'm intrigued to see a brand new character implemented as a key part of the story, as this might indicate they're really expanding upon what was in the book and adding a lot to make it cinematic and feel directly a part of the Lord of the Rings world. All of the casting has been spot on so far, and I trust in PJ, so whatever he's up to, bring it on. We'll keep you updated on The Hobbit as shooting continues down in New Zealand.