In unsurprising but awesome news, busy man Guillermo del Toro confirmed today some of what most fans have been expecting for a long time in regards to some role reprisals in The Hobbit by a few of our favorite actors and characters from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

According to del Toro in a BBC Radio interview with regards to The Hobbit, Hugo Weaving will again be playing Lord Elrond, Sir Ian McKellen will be back as our favorite bearded wizard, Gandalf the Grey, and last but not least, the talented Andy Serkis will be back as Gollum.

Last week, del Toro revealed that they’ve narrowed down the candidates of who will play Bilbo Baggins to just one and that we’d likely be hearing about that soon. With these casting confirmations today, and updates of the movie popping up seemingly on a weekly basis, I expect we’ll find out who our little Hobbit will be fairly soon, or at the very latest, at San Diego Comic Con next month.

The BBC Radio interview didn’t just focus on who’s playing who though, del Toro also again talked about how the films will be split up with no ‘bridge’ film, and what they’ll focus on (which we reported on last week):

“There is a whole other chapter, so to speak, which is the comings and going of Gandalf which are dealt with, people that know the lore know that Gandalf was delayed with a crisis… with a character that is very shady called the Necromancer that proves to be Sauron.”

Another tidbit of info del Toro revealed is that after eight months of working on the design for Smaug the dragon, they’ve just hit on the basics of his engineering and it’ll be probably another half a year at least, before they’re able to show him off in detail.

Guillermo’s conversation with host Simon Mayo also touched on a few of his many projects listed in development. Here are some of the key points:

  • Hellboy 3 is unlikely due to Ron Perlman being averse to wearing the prosthetics again.
  • He’ll be producing, not directing, Jekyll and Hyde
  • He’ll be directing Frankenstein and his one of his go-to guys, Doug Jones, will play the monster.
  • Blade 4 with Wesley Snipes won’t happen because of legal issues between Snipes and New Line, so del Toro won’t be directing it.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more updates on The Hobbit and Guillermo del Toro’s many other projects.

What do you think of these updates and are you excited to see some familiar faces returning to The Hobbit?

The first of The Hobbit films is due out in December, 2011 and the second in December, 2012.

Sources: /Film, MTV