Want to see the entire 'Lord of the Rings' cast return for 'The Hobbit'? Well, that's not going to happen, producer Peter Jackson revealed to MTV.com. The director of the epic 'LOTR' saga announced that only three characters will return: Gandalf, Elrond and possibly Galadriel.

That's actually great news to fans hoping the 'Rings' prequel stays loyal to the J.R.R. Tolkien novel: "The world of 'The Hobbit' takes place 60 years before 'The Lord of the Rings,'" Jackson noted. "So, not a lot of the characters [such as Aragorn, Frodo, Legolas and Gimli] actually feature, because they weren't around yet." Want to see the entire 'Lord of the Rings' cast return for 'The Hobbit'? Well, that's not going to happen, producer Peter Jackson revealed to MTV.com. The director of the epic 'LOTR' saga announced that only three characters will return: Gandalf, Elrond and possibly Galadriel.

That's actually great news to fans hoping the 'Rings' prequel stays loyal to the J.R.R. Tolkien novel: "The world of 'The Hobbit' takes place 60 years before 'The Lord of the Rings,'" Jackson noted. "So, not a lot of the characters [such as Aragorn, Frodo, Legolas and Gimli] actually feature, because they weren't around yet."

"Gandalf, being a 2,000-year-old wizard, is still around and plays a major role in 'The Hobbit,' and we're having Ian McKellen reprise," explained Jackson who is executive-producing the film and writing the screenplay. As for Elrond and Galadriel, "they are elves so, in the realm of Middle-Earth, they're immortal, they don't age," Jackson said.

While McKellen is definitely on board, Jackson admitted that Hugo Weaving (Elrond) and Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) have not yet been signed. "We're not [beginning] any official process until we have the 'official' script that they can read."

Bilbo Baggins, who is the central character in 'The Hobbit,' will undoubtedly be played by someone other than Ian Holm. Jackson did not comment on whether Andy Serkis will be back to voice the villainous (and computer-generated) Gollum, another key player in 'The Hobbit' -- but we'd be utterly shocked if Jackson fave Serkis doesn't return.

Jackson is ceding the director's chair to pal Guillermo Del Toro for this film, but is actively involved in writing the script. "Screenwriting is my favorite part of the whole process. I'm very happy being one of the writing team on 'The Hobbit,' and we've written the first script. It's two movies, and we've written the first script, which the studio responded well to. And we're now halfway through the second script. At this rate," he told MTV.com, "we're on target to begin shooting the first half of next year."
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