Billy Connolly joins 'Hobbit' cast

Feb. 8, 2012 at 10:19 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Scottish actor Billy Connolly has signed on to play dwarf warrior Dain Ironfoot in Peter Jackson's two-part "The Hobbit" project, the director said Wednesday.

"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," Jackson said in a statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter. "With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of 'The Hobbit' is now complete. We can't wait to see him on the battlefield!"

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is set for release Dec. 14, while "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" will open in theaters Dec. 13, 2013.

The movies are prequels to "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, which also were directed by Jackson and were based on fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The ensemble of "The Hobbit" movies includes Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Andy Serkis.

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