By Edward Davis | The Playlist December 9, 2010 at 1:09AM
Cate Blanchett has been officially confirmed to return to Peter Jackson's two-part, "The Hobbit" as the elvin queen Galadriel, the Lady of Lothlorien, and now it appears one more elf is returning.
Deadline reports that Orlando Bloom, who basically came to stardom as the archer Legolas in "The Lord Of The Rings" trilogy (he was essentially an unknown before) will also reprise his role.
While we haven't heard official, press release-like news that Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis are returning as the wizard Gandalf and Gollum, respectively, it's already assumed that both actors are in the film which is set for its New Zealand shoot in February of 2011. Hugo Weaving, who played the elf leader Elrond, is also expected to return. Martin Freeman will star as Bilbo Baggins, the uncle (or kinsman if you want to be technical about it) of Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), who was the main protagonist of "The Lord Of The Rings."
With four 'LOTR' actors all-but-officially on board, this probably gives more hope for fans wanting to see the return of Viggo Mortensen as the hero Aragorn and the aforementioned Wood, but unless there is some major time lapse shift in the film, it would likely make no sense to have a young Frodo appear next to a younger Bilbo (in 'LOTR', Bilbo is played by Ian Holm as an old man). Got all that 'Hobbit'-ese down? Sheesh, you would think we're fluent in that patois. The appearance of Legolas and Galadriel also suggests that the "bridge film" concept -- something perhaps invented that tethers "The Hobbit" and "The Lord Of The Rings" characters together in scenes -- may still be alive. It was thought that idea was dumped long ago in the Guillermo del Toro days (both he and Jackson admitted as much), but who knows, perhaps that plan has once again changed (and or it hasn't and it's simply very conceivable that the immortal elves can appear as themselves in this decades-earlier prequel). "The Hobbit" is due in theaters December 2012 and both films will shoot back to back.