Scottish comedian Billy Connolly is joining the cast of Peter Jackson's highly anticipated film adaptation of J.R.R.Tolkien's book The Hobbit.
Jackson, who directed all three of the Lord of the Rings films, announced the news today while still in production on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, with the films shooting back-to-back in New Zealand.
In the films, Connolly will play Dain Ironfoot, a great dwarf warrior and cousin of Thorin Oakenshield.
Jackson welcomed the news of Connolly to Middle-earth, saying The Hobbit cast is now complete.
"We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of Dwarves, than Billy Connolly, the Big Yin himself... We can't wait to see him on the Battlefield!"
Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Martin Freeman plays the central role of Bilbo Baggins.
Also returning from their roles in The Lord of the Rings trilogy are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; and Andy Serkis as Gollum.