The latest returning Lord of the Rings cast member to be confirmed for Peter Jackson's prequel The Hobbit is Sir Christopher Lee, who will be reprising his role as Saruman. This news comes from the actor's official website, which states that Lee's return is a certainty as long as he stays in good health.

Here is the official statement that was released:

RELATED: Preparing for Gollum in Lord of the Rings, Andy Serkis Would Walk on All Fours for Hours
"Slowly but surely, Peter Jackson has managed to secure the return of the majority of the major stars from The Lord of the Rings franchise for his soon to be shooting prequel, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.

Sir. Christopher Lee had been in talks to reprise his role as the wizard Saruman and it now looks certain, providing that he is in good health, that he will be appearing in the movie."

More The Hobbit casting announcements are expected throughout the week.