British actor James Nesbitt has been unveiled as the latest dwarf to join the ranks of the forthcoming Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit. Martin Freeman who is set to play Bilbo will be lining up alongside Nesbitt who is penned to play Bofur.
Warner Bros. made the announcement this morning that the ‘forthright and disarmingly funny’ Irish born is the latest to sign up for Peter Jackson’s big screen interpretation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, following Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Rob Kazinsky, Graham McTavish, John Callen, Stephen Hunter, Mark Hadlow and Peter Hambeton who have all been signed up for the two-part revisualization.
A statement published by Peter Jackson said, “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.”
The versatile has appeared in comedy and serious roles alike, adapting well into each part. His back catalogue includes TV roles Bloody Sunday, Millions, Lucky Break and Waking Ned Devine.
Also joining the cast is Adam Brown who will play Ori, another of the dwarf company dwarf who set out to defeat the dragon Smaug and reclaim the Lonely Mountain. Jackson said of him, “Adam is a wonderfully expressive actor and has a unique screen presence. I look forward to seeing him bring Ori to life”.
The Hobbit hate campaign
Production on The Hobbit is expected to start February 2011, a date which could have been put back further due to issues with union actors and bosses who became embroiled in a dispute over performers’ rights and studio bosses threatened to move the project to another country.
Industrial action ended on October 10th as movie bosses concluded a deal to keep The Hobbit in Peter Jackson’s homeland of New Zealand. Some key union members have recently been the target of hate campaigns, with some actors receiving death threats. A police investigation is still ongoing.
New Zealand actors Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Robyn Malcolm are reported to have been threatened as has Australian union boss Simon Whipp, head of the country’s Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance.
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