'Lord of the Rings' thesp reunites with Peter Jackson on pics
It’s official — Elijah Wood is returning to Middle-earth to star in Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit,” currently in pre-production in New Zealand.Reps for Wood, who starred as Frodo Baggins in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, confirmed Friday that the thesp had signed for the back-to-back “Hobbit” films to portray Frodo again. Jackson’s set to start shooting the pics next month. Wood’s character in the “Rings” trilogy inherited the titular ring from Bilbo Baggins and undertook the quest to destroy it in the fires of Mount Doom. The “Hobbit” story in J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel centers on the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, who obtains the ring. “Hobbit” cast includes Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Cate Blanchett reprising her role from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy as Galadriel. Jackson, Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham are producing the films, with co-writer Philippa Boyens serving as co-producer and Ken Kamins and Zane Weiner as exec producers. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy was produced by Jackson, Walsh and Barrie Osborne. The signing of Wood comes a day after Warner Bros. announced it will handle worldwide distribution on “The Hobbit,” taking over the international distribution and homevideo on the films from MGM in exchange for funding MGM’s half of the production costs. Wood’s also signed on to play Ben Gunn in Stewart Harcourt’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” alongside Eddie Izzard in a two-part miniseries that will air on Sky TV in the U.K. with Alan Moloney producing and Steve Barron directing. He’s been seen this summer in FX’s new series “Wilfred,” and lends his voice to Warner Bros.’ “Happy Feet 2,” which opens in November. Wood is also starring, with John C. Reilly and Seth Rogen, in the Sundance short “Fight for Your Right Revisited,” directed by Adam Yauch. He’s repped by WME and Brillstein Partners.