Lost star Evangeline Lilly and comedian Barry Humphries round out the sprawling ensemble cast of The Hobbit, director Peter Jackson announced. News of their casting quickly follows that of Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman, and confirmation of Benedict Cumberbatch as the dragon Smaug.
Lilly, who played Kate Austen on the ABC drama, will portray a new character, a Woodland Elf named Tauriel. "Her name means 'daughter of Mirkwood' and, beyond that, we must leave you guessing!" Jackson explained on his Facebook page. "(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."
Humphries, best known for his character Dame Edna Everage, will play the Goblin King, "in much the way Andy Serkis created Gollum."
Director Peter Jackson’s two-movie adaptation also stars McKellen, returning as Gandalf the Grey, and Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. Other actors reprising their Lord of the Rings roles are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The ensemble cast also includes Richard Armitage, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas and Aidan Turner.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens on Dec. 14, 2012, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again on Dec. 13, 2013.