After the news that Cate Blanchett is set to reprise her role as Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit films, one might think that the next bit of official casting news would include the return of Ian McKellen or Andy Serkis. A bit surprisingly, Deadline reports that Orlando Bloom is currently close to reaching a deal to return as Legolas in The Hobbit. While his character doesn’t appear in the J.R.R. Tolkein book, his father does. Nevertheless, this is fantastic news to LOTR fans, as Bloom brought a much-welcomed “bad-assness” to the role. The report states that McKellen (Gandalf), Serkis (Smeagol/Gollum), and Hugo Weaving (Elrond) are expected to return, but talks between their respective agents and the studio haven’t been completely worked out yet.
We recently told you that Jackson will shoot the films in 3D using the new RED EPIC cameras, and announced that Howard Shore would be officially returning to score The Hobbit films. Expect more information and casting announcements in the coming weeks, as the production start-date draws closer. The Hobbit Part 1 & 2 will be released in 3D on December 2012 and December 2013 respectively.