Belfast Telegraph

James Nesbitt joins The Hobbit

James Nesbitt has joined the cast of The Hobbit.

The Cold Feet star will play confident and comical dwarf Bolfur in the Lord of the Rings prequel, based on JR Tolkien's novel, it has been jointly announced by New Line Cinema, Warner Bros and MGM.

Director Peter Jackson said: "James's charm, warmth and wit are legendary as is his range as an actor in both comedic and dramatic roles. We feel very lucky to be able to welcome him as one of our cast."

British star of The Office Martin Freeman is to star as hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins and newcomer Adam Brown will play Ori, another of the Dwarf company which sets out to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the infamous dragon, Smaug.

It was confirmed last week The Hobbit, which is to be made in two parts, will be filmed in New Zealand following crisis talks with Hollywood studio executives.

Senior executives from Warner Bros and New Line Cinema won an agreement for a change in labour law and bigger tax breaks to keep the project in New Zealand after a dispute over pay and conditions for actors threw the production into turmoil.

Andy Serkis, who is to reprise his role as Gollum said: "It's where it was meant to be and a lot of the people wanted to see those stories being made and told in that place and it would have been a shame to have done it anywhere else."

"The film industry in New Zealand has really burgeoned through that process of making Lord Of The Rings and Peter Jackson was very much at the front of that and everyone involved with the production would have been very upset to have seen it set anywhere else. So I'm thrilled, and relieved and delighted."

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