New Zealand native Bret McKenzie will be taking his talents back to his homeland as the newest cast member of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. The actor, best known for being one-half of the comedy music duo Flight of the Conchords, will join the production which just started filming last month.

McKenzie joins an impressive cast, including Andy Serkis, Ian McKellan, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, and many other returning actor’s from Jackson’s Academy Award winning Lord of the Rings series. Rising young star Saoirse Ronan (Hanna) may also join the cast, but told Screen Rant that she was unconfirmed for the film as of this weekend.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, McKenzie will play an elf in the film. Which elf, we don’t know, but he’ll definitely have pointy ears and long hair. Interestingly, McKenzie actually played an elf (named Figwit by fans) in an extremely minor role in both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King, so it’s likely that he’ll reprise that role for The Hobbit as well.

McKenzie’s appearance in the third Lord of The Rings film was included strictly as an easter egg for fans who thought the actor’s three-second appearance in Fellowship was amusing. Presumably, Jackson cast McKenzie in The Hobbit for the same reason.

For those not in on the joke, the character of Figwit appeared briefly as a member of the Council of Elrond when Frodo agrees to take the ring to Mordor. For some reason, fans took to the actor and gave the character a name (Figwit actually stands for “Frodo is great… who is that?”). McKenzie’s wife even made a short documentary film about the popularity of the character, which was submitted to the Auckland International Film Festival.

Perhaps thanks to the popularity of Flight of the Conchords, McKenzie will be given a few more lines in The Hobbit. Maybe someone will even call him Figwit. Maybe he’ll even get to sing a funny song about dwarves. That’s probably asking too much.

What do you think of Bret McKenzie joining the cast of The Hobbit? Are you a fan of Flight of the Conchords? Were you even aware of the Figwit phenomenon?

The Hobbit: Part 1 is expected to reach theaters by December 2012, followed by Part 2 in December 2013.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter