When Peter Jackson finally released The Hobbit’s long-awaited trailer, most of us were certain all relevant casting positions had been filled.
But one important character was apparently still missing: Dáin Ironfoot, cousin of Thorin Oakenshield, who Tolkien depicts as a great dwarf warrior.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Oakenshield will be played by none other than Scottish actor Billy Connolly.
"We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dáin Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of Dwarves, than Billy Connelly, the Big Yin himself," Jackson told THR.
"With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of The Hobbit is now complete. We can't wait to see him on the battlefield!"
As you may recall, Dáin was the son of Náin and grandson of Grór, the youngest son of Dáin I of Durin's folk. After his grandfather's death, Dáin became lord of the Dwarves of the Iron Hills in Wilderland.
Dáin was also second cousin to Thorin Oakenshield, and so responded to Thorin's call for aid during the quest to reclaim Erebor. Dáin rode out to war with several hundred Dwarves in time to participate in the Battle of Five Armies. During the battle, Thorin was mortally wounded and Dáin succeeded Oakenshield as King under the Mountain and King of Durin's folk.
The Hobbit, a two-part epic fantasy film, stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug.
A number of actors from Lord of the Rings (LOTR) will also reprise their roles in Jackson’s Hobbit adaption, such as Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Andy Serkis (Gollum), Hugo Weaving (Elrond), Cate Blanchett (the elf queen Galadriel ), Christopher Lee (Saruman), Ian Holm (old Bilbo Baggins), Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Orlando Bloom (Legolas).
Additional returning LOTR veterans include illustrators John Howe and Alan Lee, art director Dan Hennah, cinematographer Andrew Lesnie and composer Howard Shore.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, hits theaters on December 14 from Warner. The second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, goes live on December 13, 2013.