Cate Blanchett joins cast of "The Hobbit"
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The film studio behind "The Hobbit" movies on Tuesday unveiled more of the cast of the widely-anticipated movie, including Oscar winner Cate Blanchett who will reprise her role as an elf in "The Lord of the Rings" movies.
Australian actress Blanchett has been nominated five times for an Oscar, the movie industry's top award, and she won for 2004's "The Aviator, playing screen legend Katharine Hepburn.
In "The Hobbit," which is based on the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy novels, Blanchett will portray elven leader Galadriel, the Lady of Lothlorien. She played the same part in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy of films which are also based on Tolkien's books and were a smash hit at theaters.
"Cate is one of my favorite actors to work with, and I couldn't be more thrilled to have her reprise the role she so beautifully brought to life in the earlier films," director Peter Jackson said in a statement.
Jackson, who directed all three of the "Lord of the Rings" films is making two movies based on "The Hobbit," the first of which will be released in December 2012. The second is expected to follow one year later.
Along with Blanchett, Warner Bros. Pictures said Ken Stott will portray the Dwarf Lord Balin, Sylvester McCoy has been cast as the wizard Radagast the Brown and Sweden's Mikael Persbrandt will play the shape-shifter Beorn.
Previously, Warner Bros. had announced Martin Freeman in the key role of Bilbo Baggins.
(Editing by Jill Serjeant)
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