A mere few weeks after Peter Jackson lost Rob Kazinski as Hobbit Fili, another casting problem emerges with the news HANNA star Saorise Ronan wont be joining him for the New Zealand shoot after all, citing the formidable production schedule as her reason for dropping out of her prospective role as elf Itaril. The epic undertaking (THE HOBBIT PART I & II are being shot back-to-back) was also the reason previous director Guillermo Del Toro had to bow out, after years of pre-production and the wait for a greenlight, facing a further two years away from other potential projects proved too much.
While it’s not unusual to have actors drop out at the last minute, you’ve got to wonder what Jackson is doing to deserve these casting hassles – Stuart Townsend famously left FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING during the shoot to be replaced by Viggo Mortenson, Ryan Gosling was recast with Mark Whalberg on THE LOVELY BONES - and now these. Still, at least it worked out for the best on one of those movies… we all know which.
It’s not all bad news however, with the recent announcement that Ian Holm will reprise his role as (the older) Bilbo Baggins in the film’s bookend sequences, further strengthening the continuity between this and Jackson’s previous trilogy.
THE HOBBIT PART I is scheduled for release in December of 2012, followed by PART II in December 2013.
Troubled by the casting hiccups? Who should play Itaril instead? Let us know with your comments below!