Brian Cox To Play A Dwarf In The Hobbit?

There's enough dwarves in The Hobbit to keep us in casting rumours for a year so I'm almost reluctant to set a precedent in reporting on them. Nonetheless, this particular rumour revolves around Brian Cox and therefore makes me pretty darn happy.

There are thirteen dwarves in The Hobbit, travelling with Bilbo and Gandalf, and the most important of them would be Thorin Oakenshield or Balin. While the rumour doesn't specify quite which dwarf Cox would be playing, it's hard to imagine an actor of Cox's calibre as one of the lesser cast. To relegate Cox to a smaller role Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson and company would have to have a pretty amazing cast up their sleeves. Of course, I can't think of a more eagerly anticipated film in the pipeline right now* so who's to say there's any kind of ceiling on what the team might be able to ask for.

The story comes from Aint It Cool's down under snooper Latauro, who isn't quite sure if Cox has been conclusively cast or is just being hunted by the filmmakers.

Evidence to support the claim is pretty slim but they did go Scots with Gimli's accent last time and Cox is a native Scot. He's certainly could have an appropriate appearance too, with the help of  padding, a few prosthetics and a fake beard – as is necessary for just about everybody else in the whole darn cast.

In The Hobbit, Tolkien described Thorin as haughty and officious, neither of which helped him be a particularly good leader. Balin, meanwhile, functioned as the party's look out dwarf, and spoke on behalf of them all when they were abducted by the Elvenking. It was in Balin's tomb that Pippin knocked a dwarf's skeleton down the well and alerted the Orcs in the Fellowship of the Ring movie.

Final casting for Hobbit characters has been promised for months now, with nothing solid forthcoming. Will Cox be amongst the first names officially revealed. I hope so.

*Except maybe Toy Story 3?