James Nesbitt and Adam Brown have boarded Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, which is scheduled to begin shooting in February, followed by the production of The Hobbit Sequel.

According to Variety, James Nesbitt will play Bofur, described by the producers as "a disarmingly forthright, funny and occasionally brave Dwarf. Adam Brown will play Ori, another of the pic's Dwarf Company.

Warner Bros., New Line and MGM made the announcement late Monday. Martin Freeman will portray Bilbo Baggins. Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Robert Kazinsky, Graham McTavish, John Callen, Stephen Hunter, Mark Hadlow and Peter Hambleton also star.

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The Hobbit is based on J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy novel about the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, who obtains the ring that was the centerpiece of The Lord of the Rings trilogy of books and films.

The studios reached a settlement agreement last week with the New Zealand government, which agreed to change its labor laws and sweeten production incentives in exchage for keeping The Hobbit in New Zealand.