James Nesbitt is in the frame to star in the prequel to one of the most successful franchises in movie history.
The Northern Ireland actor has been approached about a role in Peter Jackson’s multi-million pound blockbuster The Hobbit — the precursor to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Plans to shoot the two-parter were put on hold due to financial problems at MGM, which owns half of the franchise with Warner Brothers.
But according to reports, The Hobbit has now been given the green light and production is due to begin next February.
A spokesman for Nesbitt, star of Murphy’s Law, The Deep and Occupation, said that he had been approached about a role in the film but said that nothing had as yet been confirmed.
“Yes, James is in the frame, but lots of British actors have been spoken to about the movie,” he said. “There is a possibility he will do it, depending on other commitments.”
Various fan websites have claimed that Nesbitt is being lined up to play the dwarf Bofur.
Others mentioned for possible roles are former Doctor Who David Tennant and Hunger star Michael Fassbender, whose mother is from Northern Ireland. Sir Ian McKellen is said to be reprising the role of Gandalf.