Deadline told you last week that Luke Evans would play Bard in The Hobbit and that Benedict Cumberbatch would play Smaug. But Peter Jackson revealed a couple more casting surprises as he continues production. One is Lost‘s Evangeline Lilly, who has been under the radar since the conclusion of that series and who has been sparing in her movie work during production of that series, aside from the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker and the upcoming Real Steel. She’ll play a Woodland Elf named Tauriel. Barry Humphries, best known for his alter ego Dame Edna, will play the Goblin King. Here is Jackson’s Facebook missive:

THE HOBBIT Casting Update
by Peter Jackson on Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 1:51pm

Yikes! I can finally get back to some postings! We’ve finished our first block of shooting and moved straight into location scouting. More on that soon… But today, I’m thrilled to announce two new cast members who will be joining us for our second block of shooting.

Evangeline Lilly will be playing a new character—the Woodland Elf, Tauriel. Her name means ‘daughter of Mirkwood’ and, beyond that, we must leave you guessing! (No, there is no romantic connection to Legolas.) What is not a secret is how talented and compelling an actress Evangeline is; we are thrilled and excited she will be the one to bring our first true Sylvan Elf to life.

I’m also highly excited that Barry Humphries will be portraying the Goblin King, in much the way Andy Serkis created Gollum. Barry is perhaps best known for his business and social connections as the long-time manager of Dame Edna Everage. He has also been an ardent supporter of the rather misunderstood and unfairly maligned Australian politician, Sir Les Patterson. However, in his spare time, Barry is also a fine actor, and we’re looking forward to seeing him invest the Goblin King with the delicate sensitivity and emotional depth this character deserves.

Evangeline and Barry, along with Welsh actor Luke Evans as Bard and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, just about rounds out the major casting. I cannot wait to get stuck into these new scenes!

More soon, including a flurry of answers to your questions. Sorry for the delay!


Peter J