For those of you into such things — which is probably just about everyone reading this — The Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro has announced three cast members from the Lord of the Rings trilogy will be returning for the new prequels: Sir Ian McKellen will be back as Gandalf, Hugo Weaving will return as Elrond, and Andy Serkis will once again play Gollum. No word yet on who will be playing Bilbo Baggins, though an announcement’s probably coming soonish. I think we can safely assume it probably won’t be 78-year-old Sir Ian Holm, though.
The Hobbit, Part One and The Hobbit, Part Two: The Hobbiting begin shooting in March, 2010 for a projected 2012 release.
ETA: My friend Amy A. asked if I had any guesses or preferences for who should play Bilbo. I don’t immediately have either, but I’m opening it up to the floor: who do you guys think should be Bilbo? Should they just go with Elijah Wood with a different wig?