Luke Evans Cast as Bard the Bowman in Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit'!
"I had you from my father, and he from of old." Rising British actor Luke Evans (from Clash of the Titans, The Three Musketeers 3D) has just landed a major role in Peter Jackson's already-underway adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit. Deadline reports that Evans will play Bard the Grim (or Bard the Bowman), a skilled archer and heir of Girion of Dale. Those that know the story know that Bard plays a bigger role in the later half, specifically with the dragon Smaug, as he is Laketown's archer. Deadline also says that Smaug still doesn't have a voice, though rumors include
Bill Nighy and/or Leonard Nimoy. Go now and speed well!
Deadline explains, as makes sense from the book, that Evans' role is much bigger in the second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, due in 2013, similar to the way Viggo Mortensen's role as Aragorn grew in Return of the King. We first meet Bard the Bowman when the party arrives at Laketown near the Lonely Mountain. He is described as a rugged man with a grim personality. He's an archer and carries a special Black Arrow that is used during a key moment with Smaug. Peter Jackson is already shooting both parts of The Hobbit down in New Zealand, and one of the only other key roles still uncast as of yet is that of the voice of Smaug. Martin Freeman is playing Bilbo Baggins, and we'll meet Luke Evans as Bard on the journey.
Update!: Following this news, Deadline has also learned that it won't be Nighy or Nimoy, instead it will be up-and-coming British actor Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit movies. Cumberbatch will portray Smaug using motion capture and, apparently, provide the voice. He's also already voicing the character Necromancer in The Hobbit as well. Cumberbatch has been doing TV work in the UK for a number of years, but is just now breaking out with a big role in Danny Boyle's Frankenstein stage production and in Steven Spielberg's upcoming War Horse and Tomas Alfredson's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy as well. Glad we finally have a name, but no one I was expecting. Though I still trust in Peter Jackson!