Peter Jackson recently spoke about casting rumors by stating that only three ‘LOTR’ alumni will be involved in ‘The Hobbit’ saying, “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. There’s a couple of other characters: Elrond, who was played by Hugo Weaving [in the original films], and there’s a possibility of Galadriel, who was played by Cate Blanchett.
In book terms, the world of ‘The Hobbit’ takes place 60 years before ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ as it was written by Tolkien. So, not a lot of the characters actually feature, because they weren’t around yet.”
This means the rumors of Viggo Mortensen, Dominic Monaghan and John Rhys-Davies returning are untrue. The Hobbit is set to begin filming in mid-2010.