With Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and the country of New Zealand back on speaking terms, and a handful of casting announcements already in the bag, the two much-anticipated films seem to finally be gaining some momentum. Tonight, James Nesbitt is a beneficiary of said momentum as he has landed the role of the “disarmingly forthright, funny and occasionally brave dwarf,” Bofur. A Golden Globe nominee for his work in the BBC mini-series Jekyll, Nesbitt joins a cast that already includes Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Rob Kazinsky, Graham McTavish, John Callen, Stephen Hunter, Mark Hadlow, and Peter Hambleton.
In addition to Nesbitt’s inclusion, the press release also confirms that newcomer Adam Brown will make the turn as Ori, a dwarf who “which sets out to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the infamous dragon, Smaug.” Though I’m not the definitive source on such matters, I’d say a project budgeted at somewhere around $670 million is a pretty good place for one to break into the business. To check out the official press release for yourself, which includes concise quotes from Peter Jackson about each actor, hit the jump. The Hobbit is currently slated for 3D releases in December 2012 and December 2013.
Here’s the press release:
James Nesbitt Confirmed to Play Major Role in The Hobbit.
(LOS ANGELES November 1, 2010) –One of Britain’s most beloved actors, James Nesbitt (Millions and TV’s Cold Feet), is the latest actor to join the ensemble cast of The Hobbit, it was jointly announced today by Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Operating Officer, New Line Cinema; Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros.; and Steve Cooper, co-Chief Executive Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Nesbitt will play Bofur, a disarmingly forthright, funny and occasionally brave Dwarf. “James’s charm, warmth and wit are legendary as is his range as an actor in both comedic and dramatic roles. We feel very lucky to be able to welcome him as one of our cast.” said director Peter Jackson.
Newcomer, Adam Brown will play Ori, another of the Dwarf Company which sets out to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the infamous dragon, Smaug. Jackson comments, “Adam is a wonderfully expressive actor and has a unique screen presence. I look forward to seeing him bring Ori to life”.
Nesbitt and Brown will join the cast announced on October 21, which includes Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage (soon to appear in Captain America: The First Avenger), Aidan Turner (TV’s Being Human), Rob Kazinsky (TVs EastEnders), Graham McTavish (Secretariat), John Callen (TV’s Power Rangers Jungle Fury), Stephen Hunter (TV’s All Saints), Mark Hadlow (King Kong) and Peter Hambleton (TV’s The Strip).
Since The Hobbit films received a green light on October 15, pre-production has been in full swing with release dates set for December, 2012 and December, 2013. The two The Hobbit films are being co-produced by New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production, Warner Bros Pictures handling domestic distribution and MGM distributing internationally.
Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham are producing the films, with co-writer Philippa Boyens serving as co-producer and Ken Kamins as executive producer. The Oscar-winning, critically acclaimed LOTR trilogy, also from the production team of Jackson, Walsh and Cunningham, grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box office. In 2003, “Return of the King” swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the 11 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture – the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The trilogy’s production was also unprecedented at the time.