Casting Call: Ian McKellen Joins ‘The Hobbit’ Cast; Chris Pine’s New Hot Hollywood Mom — Michelle Pfeiffer!

“The Hobbit” nabs some familiar faces. Chris Pine gets a new Hollywood mom. Plus, why is “Gossip Girl” star Ed Westwick about to get political? It’s all in the latest edition of the Casting Call…

The cast of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” is beginning to take shape!

Fresh off the confirmation that Elijah Wood would be reprising his role as Frodo, now comes the news that a few more familiar

“Lord of the Rings” faces will be heading back to Middle Earth, as well.

Both Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis have signed on to reprise their roles as Gandalf and Gollum, respectively, in the two upcoming “Hobbit” films, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

McKellen also confirmed the news on his personal website on Tuesday.

“The deciding negotiation was not about money but about dates. Gandalf is needed on set over the next 18 months but with sizeable breaks when I can work on other projects. My worry that I could not easily escape from Middle Earth was lifted,” he wrote. “I am happy to say I start filming in Wellington on February 21, 2011.”

As previously reported on, Cate Blanchett will also re-join the cast as Galadrie, Lady of Lothlorien, and Martin Freeman will step into the role of Bilbo Baggins.

Additionally, an offer is reportedly out to new dad Orlando Bloom to reprise his role as the elf Legolas. However, no decisions have been made.

Production on “The Hobbit” – which will be split into two films – is slated to begin in February 2011, with release dates of December 2012 and December 2013, for Parts 1 and 2, respectively, targeted.


Chris Pine, say hello to your new mother for us – Michelle Pfeiffer!

The big screen beauty will play Pine’s on-screen mom in DreamWorks’ “Welcome to People,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film – which is slated to begin production in LA later this month – centers around a businessman (Pine) who, after his father passes away, is tasked with bringing $150,000 to an alcoholic sister he never knew about and her 12-year-old son.

“Welcome to People” – directed by Pine’s “Star Trek” producer/screenwriter Alex Kurtzman — also stars Olivia Wilde and Elizabeth Banks.

Among Pfieffer’s other upcoming credits are Disney’s romantic comedy “She’s Gone,” as well as the star-laden ensemble cast for Garry Marshall’s “New Year’s Eve.”


“Gossip Girl” star Ed Westwick is trading in the cutthroat world of the Upper East Side for a more political project.

Westwick is joining the cast of the upcoming Clint Eastwood-directed “J. Edgar,” according to Deadline.

Westwick – who plays bad boy Chuck Bass on the popular CW show – will reportedly step in to a major supporting role as a government operative in the drama, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

However, one star who isn’t joining “J. Edgar” is Charlize Theron. According to Deadline, she will not take on the part of Helen Gandy, as had been previously rumored.

Instead, she’s signed on to play the Evil Queen in Universal’s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” as had long been speculated.

With Theron out of Eastwood’s political pic, Naomi Watts and Amy Adams are now being considered as potential candidates for the role of Gandy, Deadline reports.

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