Evangeline Lilly (Lost) and Barry Humphries (Dame Edna) are the latest actors to join the cast of The Hobbit, Peter Jackson‘s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s novel. Lilly will play a character written just for the films, a “Woodland Elf” named Tauriel, while Humphries will fill the role of the Goblin King. According to Jackson, the addition of Lilly and Humphries “just about rounds out the major casting.” And in case you were wondering, Jackson specifically states that Tauriel will not be making a love connection with fellow elf Legolas. Read Jackson’s full statement after the jump.

Jackson revealed the casting on Facebook (via The One Ring):

Yikes! I can finally get back to some postings! We’ve finished our first block of shooting and moved straight into location scouting. More on that soon… But today, I’m thrilled to announce two new cast members who will be joining us for our second block of shooting.

Evangeline Lilly will be playing a new character—the Woodland Elf, Tauriel. Her name means ‘daughter of Mirkwood’ and, beyond that, we must leave you guessing! (No, there is no romantic connection to Legolas.) What is not a secret is how talented and compelling an actress Evangeline is; we are thrilled and excited she will be the one to bring our first true Sylvan Elf to life.

I’m also highly excited that Barry Humphries will be portraying the Goblin King, in much the way Andy Serkis created Gollum. Barry is perhaps best known for his business and social connections as the long-time manager of Dame Edna Everage. He has also been an ardent supporter of the rather misunderstood and unfairly maligned Australian politician, Sir Les Patterson. However, in his spare time, Barry is also a fine actor, and we’re looking forward to seeing him invest the Goblin King with the delicate sensitivity and emotional depth this character deserves.

Evangeline and Barry, along with Welsh actor Luke Evans as Bard and Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, just about rounds out the major casting. I cannot wait to get stuck into these new scenes!

More soon, including a flurry of answers to your questions. Sorry for the delay!

Cheers,
Peter J

Lilly and Humphries will be part of a large cast that already includes Luke Evans and Benedict Cumberbatch, as mentioned above, as well as Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, Lee Pace, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Fry, Orlando Bloom and many others. Shooting for the project began in New Zealand this spring. Here’s the synopsis, in case you’re not familiar with the novel:

“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

As previously reported, The Hobbit will be split into two films. Part one, titled The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will hit theaters December 14, 2012; the second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will open December 13, 2013.

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