Pre-production is about to get under way in New Zealand on The Hobbit, according to Variety, but it seems that some previous unannounced cast members have made their return.

Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are expected to write the scripts under the direction of Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. Preliminary contact has already been made with at least three actors whose The Lord Of The Rings characters also appear in The Hobbit storyline: Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), Ian McKellen (Gandalf) and Andy Serkis (Gollum).

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"We will all be involved in the script in some fashion but the exact definition is about a week away, " said del Toro. "I am all for keeping the actors who originated the parts, as much as availability and their willingness will allow."