Evangeline Lilly of 'Lost' joins 'The Hobbit' cast
"The Hobbit" director Peter Jackson took to his Facebook page on Sunday to announce that "Lost" star Evangeline Lilly has joined the cast of the upcoming two-part movie adaptation.
"Evangeline Lilly will be playing a new character -- the Woodland Elf, Tauriel," Jackson wrote on Sunday. "Her name means 'daughter of Mirkwood' and, beyond that, we must leave you guessing! (No, there is no romantic connection to Legolas)," he added referring to the Elf chatacter [played by Orlando Bloom in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.]
Jackson continued, "What is not a secret is how talented and compelling an actress Evangeline is; we are thrilled and excited she will be the one to bring our first true Sylvan Elf to life."
The director also made mention of other casting news including Barry Humphries, a comedian best known for his cross-dressing alter ego Dame Edna Everage, who will be portraying the Goblin King "in much the way Andy Serkis created Gollum."
Jackson announced that Welsh actor Luke Evans will star as Bard while Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes on the television series "Sherlock," will play Smaug.
"The Hobbit" film began shooting back in March after a series of setbacks, including actors promising to boycott, studio funding issues and Peter Jackson undergoing surgery for an ulcer.
New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. and MGM, the studios behind the two-part film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's book, recently announced the official titles of both films and the expected release dates.
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," the first film in the series, will be released on Dec. 14, 2012 and the sequel, "The Hobbit: There and Back Again," is to be released on Dec. 13, 2013.
"The Hobbit" films will star British actor Martin Freeman of "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" as hobbit Bilbo Baggins. The movies serve as a prequel to "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy that was written by J.R.R. Tolkien and which Jackson helmed to blockbuster film success.
Jackson is bringing back many familiar faces from the "Rings" franchise including Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and Ian Mckellen. The actors are set to reprise their roles from the previous franchise.
Evangeline Lilly reportedly welcomed her first child recently although the actress, who largely stepped out of the media spotlight after the ABC series ended last year, has not commented.
She was photographed sporting what appeared to be a baby bump in April. The 31-year-old actress has no other children. Her new baby is a boy and his father is Lilly's boyfriend Norman Kali, who worked as a production assistant on "LOST," Us Weekly reported. The magazine published a celebrity photo of Lilly holding a baby and walking alongside Kali in a supermarket in Hawaii, where much of "LOST" was filmed. The child's name was not disclosed.
In the fall of 2010, Lilly completed filming the movie "Real Steel," a sci-fi boxing drama starring Hugh Jackman. The film is set for release on October 7.