The latest rumor comes from Dominic Monaghan, who caught up with MTV at Sundance, and implied there had been talks to include our faithful hobbits in that much desired adaptation of The Hobbit. "They really want us to come back, and I think there's a really strong chance that we might be back. We're not in The Hobbit, no, but I think the idea in [Jackson's, Del Toro's and the other producers'] heads is that the trilogy of the Lord of the Rings films was so beloved by the fans that they're really keen to try to say thank you for the support that they gave to the Lord of the Rings movies and possibly bring back some of those characters that they know and love."
Now, I think the last solid Guillermo del Toro update we had suggested that The Hobbit might be split into two films, but keep strictly to the adventures of Bilbo, Gandalf, the dwarves, and their fight with Smaug, and the battle of Laketown. That sounds so much more sensible than a "bridge" film, as much as Middle Earth geeks would like to see some of those appendices.
On the other hand, everyone from LOTR seems to think they're coming back. I can accept Aragorn since he was actually alive and fighting during the events of The Hobbit. But Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin weren't -- and while the actors could ostensibly play other Baggins, Gamgees, Tooks, and Brandybucks, I really don't want that. The characters I know and love exist solely in Lord of the Rings, and I want to be thanked with an adapation of The Hobbit that is true to J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, not by weird cameos.