Peter Jackson has chosen Billy Connolly to play a great dwarf warrior in New Line's two "The Hobbit" movies, thus completing the casting of both films, the director said Wednesday.
"We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of the Dwarves, than Billy Connolly, the Big Yin himself," Jackson said in a written statement. "With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of 'The Hobbit is now complete. We can't wait to see him on the battlefield!"
Also read: 'The Hobbit' Cast So Far … (Slideshow)
Jackson directed all three "Lord of the Rings" films and is now in production on "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" in New Zealand.
Ian McKellen reprises the role of Gandalf the Grey, which he played in "The Lord of the Rings" triology. Martin Freeman is back as Bilbo Baggins.
Also returning are Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo, Christopher Lee as Saruman, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Orlando Bloom as Legolas and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"is scheduled for a Dec. 14 release. "The Hobbit: There and Back Again" is slated to be released Dec. 13, 2013.
Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Jackson wrote the screenplays based on J.R.R. Tolkien's epic.
Jackson is producing with Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham.