Saoirse Ronan will star in The Hobbit, it has been claimed.
The Lovely Bones actress had been rumoured to be reuniting with director Peter Jackson on his highly anticipated Lord Of The Rings prequel, and casting agent Ros Hubbard has let slip that she will head to New Zealand to join the rest of the cast, which includes Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis.
"Working with Peter Jackson is like working with a family, so they'll have a great time... Saoirse's family will go too, everyone is very close and very loving on those sorts of jobs," she told the Irish Film and Television Network.
Saoirse, who is tipped to play woodland elf Itaril, previously said she would take the role, but no offers had come her way.
"Yeah if I was asked, certainly," she has said.
Ros, who also helped find actors for the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, said casting for The Hobbit has been easier than for the other films.
"It was a huge event but it was smaller than the three Lord Of The Rings. And it is still going on to a degree in that little things change, but the actors are all out in New Zealand now," she continued.
Production on the two-part adaptation, which stars Martin as lead hobbit Bilbo Baggins, is set to begin in the next couple of weeks. Part one is scheduled to be released in December 2012, with the second set to follow in December 2013.