Peter Jackson won many Oscars for his Lord of the Rings trilogy, but has decided not to direct the prequel. Instead, Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth) will helm this new film set in an earlier time in Middle Earth.
Returning to play the part of Gandalf will be Ian McKellan (though he will have to play the part many years younger). McKellan promised to take his geritol and hopes that his depends undergarments will not be visible underneath his robes.
Bilbo Baggins, uncle of Frodo and main character of this film, will be played by Donny Osmond. Said the singer/actor, "Everyone knows me for my purple socks and now they can actually see my big feet!"
Adam Sandler will play the part of Gollum. This was originally a CGI character in the other movies, but Del Toro wanted to bring in a younger audience and feels that the "Jewishness" that Sandler will bring to the roll will make the audience feel the tension.
The part of Smaug the dragon will be played by Rosie O'Donnell. No make-up will be required for this role.
The group of dwarves that accompany this quest will be all be played by Hulk Hogan. When interviewed about this, he said that "It worked for the Oompa Loompas in the recent Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when they were all played by one guy. I really hope that this will help everyone see my versitility and talent as a true actor and bring me more Oscar worthy roles."
Four new characters have been added to the film. Nothing specific is known about them at press time, but Del Toro did say that "we need some lovable characters so that McDonalds can base toys on them for their happy meals and we can get a lot of merchandising out of the film."
The film is set for release in the summer of 2010.