Mortensen, McKellen & Serkis Returning for Hobbit ?

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Pre-production is about to get under way on The Hobbit and its sequel, says Variety.

Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are expected to write the scripts under the direction of Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. Preliminary contact has already been made with at least three actors whose “Lord of the Rings” characters also appear in the “Hobbit” storyline: Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Andy Serkis (Gollum).

“We will all be involved in the script in some fashion but the exact definition is about a week away, ” said del Toro. “I am all for keeping the actors who originated the parts, as much as availability and their willingness will allow.”

Del Toro will also be producing Hater with Mark Johnson for Universal Pictures. Based on David Moody’s 2006 novel, the thriller is about an epidemic of random violence in which ordinary people strike lethally without warning or remorse. The book will be adapted for the screen by Glen Mazzara (FX’s “The Shield”).

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