One more highly touted name expected to return for "The Hobbit" has been confirmed. Deadline reports that mo-cap expert Andy Serkis has officially signed on and will be back in the role of Gollum. Update: THR says Sir Ian McKellen is officially in too to reprise his role of Gandalf the Grey -- a major character in "The Hobbit." No surprise there.
Serkis joins Cate Blanchett and Elijah Wood as "Lord of the Rings" veterans returning for the latest franchise installment, with Christopher Lee and Ian Holm all likely and expected to be officially announced soon. While the likes of Frodo and Saruman don't really factor in novels, it's clear that Peter Jackson will be framing the tale in such a way to allow them to make appearances (however brief or small). Earlier reports have Frodo reading from or telling the tale from the “Red Book of Westmarch” (that Bilbo and Frodo both wrote in during “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy) allowing himself—and the viewers—to experience Bilbo’s story and we would guess some other narrative devices will be used to allow other characters to participate in the grand world Peter Jackson is building. Other names tossed around recently are possibly returning have been Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler and Martin Csokas so don't be surprised to find their confirmations coming along shortly as well.
Serkis is expected to have his scenes take place in the early part of the shoot which begins next month and he also will be doing re-shoots for the upcoming Jackson-produced, Steven Spielberg-directed "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" where he plays Captain Haddock. Serkis joins a huge, largely unknown cast led by Martin Freeman. The film shoots in 3D and will hit theaters in December 2012.