By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 8, 2011 at 4:04AM
Yeah, yeah we know. Given the rumors swirling around the past couple days, confirmation was inevitable, but a fresh press release dispatched tonight has confirmed that Elijah Wood will indeed be returning for "The Hobbit." It's largely believed that he will appear in the opening sequence of the film, 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. There are still a few more expected names to be officially locked in (i.e. Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis) but that is likely to be coming prior to the beginning of lensing next month.
Turns out that's not all Wood is working on. He will also be taking on the role of Ben Gunn in "Treasure Island," a two-part, four-hour miniseries that will be aired on Sky TV. Steven Barron ("Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and countless music videos including A-Ha's "Take On Me") is directing the project, with the adaptation written by Stewart Harcourt. Wood will co-star with Eddie Izzard, who is on board as Long John Silver.
A busy year ahead for Wood as he is set to star in the FX series "Wilfred," and lend his voice to "Happy Feet 2" as well as "Tron: Uprising," the animated series that Disney hopes people will care more about than the movie. He's also in the mysterious short “Fight for Your Right Revisited” directed by Adam Yauch and starring Danny McBride, Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Jack Black that will premiere in a couple weeks at Sundance.
The first half of "The Hobbit" will hit theaters in December 2012.