Now that Guillermo del Toro has been officially unveiled as the director of The Hobbit, fans are now asking, "Which Lord of the Rings actors will return, good Sir?”
Fair enough question.
In regards to Gandalf the Grey (i.e. Sir Ian McKellan), he tells Empire Online:
“I spoke to Guillermo in the very room that Peter Jackson offered me the part and he confirmed that I would be reprising the role. Obviously, it’s not a part that you turn down, I loved playing Gandalf.”
As to Andy Serkis returning as Gollum, del Toro says to MTV News:
"We can be pretty sure that we're getting back Andy, Ian, [composer] Howard Shore and [conceptual designer] John Howe."
And what about the lead character Bilbo Baggins previously played by Sir Ian Holm in The Lord of the Rings trilogy? As del Toro explains:
"He will be involved in some manner, I'm sure. But at his age ... it's too early to tell. We are just in the early stages. It's too early to make commitments of that sort. We prefer to let the screenplay and the way the character comes to life guide us in the casting. I have many people in mind. Anything [else] I say will be used against me in a court of law."
Maybe I'm being a horse's ass... (I know - a real shock, ladies and gentlemen) but that sounds like del Toro's cute little P.C. way of saying, "Holm's not involved.”
Hmmm, this film-nerd smells some re-casting in the air.