By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist November 2, 2010 at 2:42AM
More good news from The Shire. With Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" having a firm greenlight and also settling the union woes that once threatened to move the production from New Zealand, two more names have been added to the growing cast for the film.
The long linked and excellent character actor James Nesbitt and newcomer Adam Brown have joined the film as dwarves Bofur and Ori respectively. For Nesbitt, it's a confirmation of a role he's been attached to for a while now, while Brown is a new name and face, but one we're sure to get to know more of as the films head into production. However, the most interesting bit of news surrounds one of the franchise's most familiar and beloved actors.
In an interview with Broadway World, Ian McKellen, aka Gandalf, cryptically revealed that there is still no paperwork signed to bring him back to the series saying, "I am not under contract, no." When pressed if he's had any meetings for the part, McKellan would only say, "I'm not going to say any more than that because it might complicate things! So, I would say - at the moment - no, I am not under contract."
Fans probably shouldn't start freaking out yet as we're sure it's most likely the two sides are hammering out the finer points of the contract, and with filming not set to begin until February there is still plenty of time for everything to be ironed out. Still no word on Stephen Fry, Saoirse Ronan, Bill Nighy and David Tennant, all who have been linked but not confirmed recently, but there are certainly more announcements to come in the following weeks.
Nesbitt and Brown join an already extensive cast for the films that includes Richard Armitage (”Spooks,” “Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the Company of Dwarves which sets off to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from a thieving dragon; Aidan Turner (”Being Human”) and Rob Kazinsky (”EastEnders”) as Kili and Fili, members of the Company of Dwarves; Graham McTavish (”Secretariat”) as Dwalin; John Callen (”Power Rangers Jungle Fury”) as Oin; Stephen Hunter (”All Saints”) as Bombur; Mark Hadlow (”King Kong”) as Dori and Peter Hambleton (”The Strip”) as Gloin.