The Hobbit casting is picking up the pace. Literally. Lee Pace (The Fall, Pushing Daisies) has been confirmed for the role of Elven King Thranduil in an official announcement from director Peter Jackson. Also confirmed is Dean O'Gorman (Young Hercules) for the role of Fili the Dwarf, replacing Rob Kaminsky, who left the project last week citing personal reasons.
Pace is best known for his starring role on the ABC series Pushing Daisies, though Jackson said that it was his performance in Tarsem Singh's The Fall that won him the role of Legolas' dear old dad. O'Gorman is a New Zealand native, and the director confirms that his participation in The Hobbit won't affect the actor's work on the NZ TV series, The Almighty Johnsons.
In related news (and to no one's surprise), Hugo Weaving will be reprising his role as Elrond in The Hobbit, Stuff.co.nz reports. The confirmation came from the movie's spokesperson Melissa Booth.
Read Jackson's casting reveal in his own words below:
I’m very pleased to be welcoming two new cast members to our team.
Dean O’Gorman will be playing Fili. Dean’s a terrific Kiwi actor, who I am thrilled to be working with. He’s recently been in an excellent TV series down here called “The Almighty Johnsons”, and I should let fans of that show know that our shooting schedule allows Dean to continue with a second series next year. Dean will be joining us next week.
I’m also pleased to announce that Lee Pace will be playing the Elven King Thranduil. Casting these Tolkien stories is very difficult, especially the Elven characters, and Lee has always been our first choice for Thranduil. He’s going to be great. We loved his performance in a movie called “The Fall” a few years ago, and have been hoping to work with him since. When we were first discussing who would be right for Thranduil, Lee came into mind almost immediately.
It’s been a great week, and I’m looking forward to the next few. It’s going to be interesting…