Hot on the heels of word that Luke Evans has joined the cast of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit comes the news, also via Deadline, that Benedict Cumberbatch has been confirmed as well. He will provide the voice of the dragon, Smaug, to whom Evans’ character has a close relation.
Cumberbatch is best known for his title role on the BBC series “Sherlock,” appearing opposite The Hobbit‘s Martin Freeman.
Jackson’s film is being divided into two halves subtitled An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again and, depending on how closely the screen version mirrors the novel, Smaug may only appear in the second half.
Cumberbatch has been rumored for the role for some time, accidentally announcing that he would be joining the film at the 2011 BAFTA Awards last month. At the time, the specific part was unknown and the actor even fretted that his “big mouth” may have cost him the part. He next appears on the big screen in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse.
In addition to Cumberbatch and Evans, the enormous cast for both films includes Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean OGorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas and Aidan Turner.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will hit theaters on December 14, 2012 with the second half arriving on December 13, 2013.
(Photo Credit: WENN.com)