Casting Notes: Elijah Wood, Andrea Savage, Hobbit Begins Casting This Week

George Miller may have a new Mad Max movie brewing, but before that happens he's got to finish a film that is the polar opposite of the action sequel: Happy Feet 2. (I guess it's kind of an action sequel, too.) Elijah Wood and Robin Williams are returning to the roles they voiced in the original film (Mumble and Ramon, respectively) and will do the voice work in Australia early next year. Miller again wrote the script; hopefully he gets all the dancing out of his system before making Mad Max. Actually, scratch that. I think Max could probably cut a mean rug. [THR]

After the break, Andrea Savage has dinner with schmucks, and the latest on The Hobbit.

Dinner for Schmucks, the Jay Roach-directed remake of French film Le Diner de Cons, already has some great cast members. Zach Galifianakis, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd are all at the table. Now Andrea Savage is, too. The original film was about a publisher who throws weekly dinner parties to which his guests are encouraged to bring the biggest idiots they can find. The French version is heralded as a great black comedy; we'll see what happens with Roach's version. [Variety]

Finally, because everyone and their dog has access to Peter Jackson before The Lovely Bones comes out, there's news now that The Hobbit begins broad casting this week.Every role except that of Gandalf, which is reserved for Ian McKellen, is open. "We're auditioning for every role," Jackson says. And, just to put any casting rumors you might have heard (or, ahem, propagated) he says "Apart from Ian McKellen, who we obviously want to return as Gandalf, we are not really offering any roles to anybody until we've done a casting sweep." Unknowns and name actors have an equal chance, and given Jackson's view towards discovering talent (he cites Orlando Bloom, Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan) I'd guess that he'd rather cast unknowns or lesser-known talent. [THR]