With around 5 months left of filming, Scottish comedian and actor Billy Connolly is the latest addition to the cast of The Hobbit. Connolly will play Dain Ironfoot, a great dwarf warrior and cousin of Thorin Oakenshield (played by Richard Armitage).
In the press release director Peter Jackson confirmed Connolly will be the final actor to join the films:
“We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of Dwarves, than Billy Connelly, the Big Yin himself. With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of “The Hobbit” is now complete. We can’t wait to see him on the Battlefield!”
Jackson’s reference to the Battlefield is relevant because Dain Ironfoot is mainly involved in the Battle of Five Armies, so Connelly’s casting suggests they’ll be shooting that soon.
Connolly has appeared in films such as The Last Samurai and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, and will be seen later this year in Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut Quartet. He’ll also provide the voice of King Fergus in Pixar’s Brave.
The Hobbit follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild (Richard Armitage). Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is set to open December 14, 2012 and will be followed a year later by The Hobbit: There and Back Again on December 13, 2013.