We learned earlier this week that Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro have started casting new characters for The Hobbit, their return to Middle Earth. But what about the existing cast, the tight-knit group we all fell in love with from Lord of the Rings? Jackson has at last confirmed that some of those actors will indeed be back, but maybe not as many as you’d hoped.

Talking to MTV he revealed that only three Lord of the Rings actors will make an appearance in The Hobbit, the first of two planned Lord of the Rings prequels. Of the primary cast, the actual Fellowship, only Gandalf will be back with Ian McKellan reprising the role. The other two returning figures are “Elrond, who was played by Hugo Weaving [in the original films], and there's a possibility of Galadriel, who was played by Cate Blanchett.”

And that puts an end to all the speculation that Jackson might find a way to work in other Fellowship of the Ring characters which, while they might not be in the book version of The Hobbit could easily be worked into the new one. There will be no Legolas cameo nor stunt appearances in which Sean Astin shows up to play Samwise Gamgee’s father. Their journey through Middle Earth, it would appear, is forever over.

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