It's official: Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, will reprise that role in The Hobbit and The Hobbit Sequel.

The news comes just days after we reported that Elijah Wood is returning as Frodo Baggins in The Hobbit and The Hobbit Sequel, even though Frodo did not appear in The Hobbit novel. Frodo will appear at the beginning and end of both movies, reading from "The Red Book."

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Other The Lord of the Rings alums are close to returning as well for The Hobbit including Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf, Christopher Lee as the evil Saruman and Ian Holm as an older version of Bilbo Baggins. Martin Freeman is playing the younger version in the two-part movie. The three actors are currently in negotiations to reprise those roles.

The Hobbit begins production in February under the direction of Peter Jackson.