Christopher Lee is the latest of the original Lord of the Rings cast to join The Hobbit

THE HOBBIT is truly shaping up to be a high school reunion of sorts for the old LORD OF THE RINGS gang. Thus far we've got Elijah Wood reprising the role of Frodo Baggins, Ian McKellan back as Gandalf the Grey, and Andy Serkis as Gollum. Then there's still the possibility that Orlando Bloom will return as Elven hunk Legolas, and even the magnificent Ian Holm as an older Bilbo Baggins? Man, what I wouldn't give to read this film's script.

Anyway, it seems we can now add one more to the list of those Peter Jackson is reuniting. Via his own official website, it's been confirmed that Christopher Lee will return to once again don the white robes of the wizard Saruman. The slight caveat, though, appears to be that Lee will only star in the film if he's in good enough health when the time comes to shoot (note that the actor is currently 88 years old).

"Slowly but surely, Peter Jackson has managed to secure the return of the majority of the major stars from The Lord of the Rings franchise for his soon to be shooting prequel, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Sir. Christopher Lee had been in talks to reprise his role as the wizard Saruman and it now looks certain, providing that he is in good health, that he will be appearing in the movie."

THE HOBBIT is scheduled to begin filming next month, with the first film set to be released sometime in December of 2012.
Extra Tidbit: Lee released a metal album last year called "Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross" in which the one-time Dracula both sings and narrates while backed by a hundred-piece orchestra and two metal bands. No joke.



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