MOTW: Fan Favorites Return for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
December 11th, 2013

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MOTW: Fan Favorites Return for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

Peter Jackson knows the world inside "The Lord of the Rings" like the back of his hands. After directing the three films in that trilogy, he announced plans to direct "The Hobbit." Problems between Jackson and the studio led to his withdrawing from the project, but after the two sides worked things out, he directed "The Hobbit." That film grossed more than $1 billion around the world, making it one of the highest grossing films of all time. The second film in the series will bring back some favorite characters and actors.



Martin Freeman/Bilbo Baggins

British actor Martin Freeman made a number of appearances before landing the lead role in "The Hobbit" series. He had roles on television shows like "The Office" and "Sherlock," but he also appeared in a handful of films. American audiences know the actor for his work in "Love Actually," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," and "Hot Fuzz." His character, Bilbo Baggins, appeared in "The Lord of the Rings" franchise with a different actor in the role, but Freeman signed on to play Baggins in each of the three films in "The Hobbit" franchise. As the lead role in the films, he spent much of the last few years filming with Jackson overseas, but he also found time to star in "The World's End," where he rejoined some of his acting pals from "Hot Fuzz."



Ian McKellen/Gandalf the Grey

Ian McKellen was already a star in the UK when he appeared in "X-Men" and the sequels to that film, but it was his role in "The Lord of the Rings" franchise that made him a star. The actor picked up a Saturn Award nomination for the first film in "The Hobbit" franchise, and he will soon appear in "X-Men: Days of Future Past." As Gandalf, McKellen is one of the small handful of actors who will appear in all three films in the series. Those who love seeing Gandalf help good battle evil can look forward to seeing more of McKellen on the big screen.



Orlando Bloom/Legolas

Orlando Bloom, best known for his roles as Legolas in the original Lord of the Rings films, as well as Will Turner in the original 3 Pirates of the Caribbean films, returns to his break out role in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Bloom has also been in films such as Kingdom of Heaven, Troy, Elizabethtown and The Three Musketeers. Bloom has also been on Broadway as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. He will be returning for the third Hobbit film as well, set to be released December 17th of next year.



Hugo Weaving/Lord Elrond

Best known for his work in "The Matrix" series, Hugo Weaving had a number of television and film roles under his belt before he appeared in "The Lord of the Rings" franchise. Though he had a small role in "The Hobbit," Jackson revealed that he would expand that role in future films. As a telepath, Elrond has a special relationship with those around him, and his special power allows him to communicate with those characters, which is something the newest film will mention.



Christopher Lee/Saruman the White

What good is a blockbuster film without a powerful villain? In "The Lord of the Rings" franchise, Saruman the White is the biggest villain around. Once close to Gandalf, the two later found themselves on opposite sides in the battle of good vs. evil. When Jackson cast Sir Christopher Lee in the role, few doubted that he could do great things in the series. The actor, who started his career in the 1940s, gained fame in the 1950s thanks to his work in a series of Hammer horror films. After portraying Dracula and starring in "The Wicker Man," he moved to America to break free from the horror film genre. Though he later took a short break from acting, he agreed to take on a role in "The Lord of the Rings" franchise and return for "The Hobbit" series.



Cate Blanchett/Lady Galadriel

Cate Blanchett picked up three Academy Award nominations and one Oscar win before appearing in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" as Lady Galadriel. Best known for her work in serious dramas, including "Babel" and "Notes on a Scandal," the film marked a dramatic departure from her previous work. As Galadriel, she was the perfect combination of class, elegance, and strength. Blanchett returned to reprise her role as Galadriel in "The Hobbit," but she will also appear in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" and "The Hobbit: There and Back Again."

Fans of "The Lord of the Rings" franchise found themselves excited when Peter Jackson announced he would helm "The Hobbit" series. Though original plans called for the series to end after two films, Jackson expanded the world into three films after looking closely at the source material. Fans of the first installment of the series can look forward to seeing their favorite stars from both franchises appear in the last two films. Blanchett, Freeman, Lee, McKellen, and Weaving will all come back in the next film and the last film in the franchise, which lands in theaters in 2014.