In a bit of dual casting news, both Luke Evans (Clash of the Titans) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s Sherlock) have landed roles in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. Evans will make a turn as Bard the Grim and Deadline reports that Cumberbatch will voice the dragon Smaug in Jackson’s two-part return to Tolkien which is currently in production in New Zealand. Whereas Evans’ casting comes as a bit of fresh news, rumors of Cumberbatch’s involvement began to swirl back in May when The Hobbit co-star Martin Freeman let the news accidentally slip to a BBC reporter. Per the report, Cumberbatch will take on the role of Smaug via motion capture while also providing voice work for the character Necromancer.
As for Evans, it is believed that his turn as Bard will have a larger role in the second Hobbit installment. Regardless, it is assured that he and Cumberbatch’s Smaug will not be on good terms as the story goes that Smaug was responsible for the death of Bard’s father. Evans can next be seen in Immortals and The Three Musketeers while Cumberbatch has roles in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy. Part 1 of The Hobbit is slated to hit 3D theaters in December 2012 with Part 2 coming in December 2013. In addition to Evans, Cumberbatch, and the aforementioned Freeman, The Hobbit also stars Cate Blanchett, Ian McKellan, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis, and Stephen Fry.