In the same weekend that Peter Jackson confirmed Ian Holm will return as the older Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, the director revealed the project has lost one of its company of dwarves.
Rob Kazinksy, the British actor cast as Fili, was forced to leave The Hobbit "for personal reasons," Jackson announced Sunday on his Facebook page. "Rob has been terrific to work with and his enthusiasm and infectious sense of humour will be missed by all of us," he wrote.
Kazinksy, best known for his role on EastEnders, confirmed his departure on Twitter, saying, "Thanks for all your support, Peter and team have been the most wonderful and supportive team to work for and it's with a truly sad heart that things have turned out this way. The Hobbit will go on to be as great as I've seen and I will miss the family and friends that I've here."
Jackson said there will be no interruption in shooting.
"I should say that Rob's departure will not affect ongoing filming of The Hobbit, nor will it impact work done to date, as we had yet to film much of Fili's storyline," he wrote. "At the moment we are shooting scenes featuring Bilbo without the Dwarves, which will give us time to find a new Fili. I'll keep everyone posted with updates as they come."
The news came just two days after Jackson announced that Holm will join returning Lord of the Rings cast members Ian McKellan, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett and, most likely, Orlando Bloom in The Hobbit. Martin Freeman stars as the younger Bilbo Baggins in the two-movie project, which takes place 60 years before the events of The Lord of the Rings. The movies will be released in 3D in 2012 and 2013.