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Billy Connolly joins The Hobbit!?! Say whaaaaa....????

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. This is pretty awesome news, actually. Billy Connolly not only joins The Hobbit, but he's going to be playing a badass warrior dwarf!



Mike Fleming at Deadline got the scoop that Connolly will be playing Dain Ironfoot, Thorin's cousin who answers the call to arms that becomes the Battle of the Five Armies.

Ironfoot's clan of dwarves are badass warriors even by dwarf standards and I can just see Connolly chewing the scenery just right.

So, there you go. Filming has started back up in Wellington and will wrap this summer. Now that I'm out of Sundance and have put a lot of my backlog of stories and interviews to bed I'll be returning to my Hobbit set reports. Still a ton of great stuff to come, including a visit to Beorn's house, helicopter flights up mountains and observations from the edge of Mirkwood.

Stay tuned!

-Eric Vespe
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  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:56 p.m. CST


    by Croweyes1121

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    cool cool cool

    by Tigger Tales

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11 p.m. CST

    You know what would be another memorable casting?

    by notcher

    Paul Walker as Tom Bombadil! Yeah, you know it!!! "What's up Mr. Hobbit?"

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11 p.m. CST

    FOOKIN' YES!!!

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    There be Scottish Dwarves in these here films. Looking forward to those set reports, Quint.

  • Heheheh :)

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:12 p.m. CST

    this film needs more characters

    by Simpsonian

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:49 p.m. CST

    Dig it.

    by Fitz

    Cause that' my diggah! (dwarves hehe) he gawnnuh put dat ion foot uP side ayo hed!

  • Feb. 8, 2012, 11:49 p.m. CST

    You Don't Normally See "Badass Warrior Dwarf" in the Same Sentence...

    by Read and Shut Up

    ...but there ya go.

  • Not that I minded, Deathly Hallows Part 2 was my favourite Potter flick. So I guess they're going from "Bilbo gets bashed on the head and misses the whole thing" to "Two and a half goddamn hours of battle! Then Bilbo gets bonked on the head.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:06 a.m. CST

    More brilliant casting

    by Dreamfasting

    I can't look at that picture without an entire scene playing itself out in my imagination. I really admire how they are managing to make a complete narrative out of the journey of making the film, from the big production diary episodes to the little one-line items like this, to our faithful embedded reporter. It is still almost a year until the first half of the movie comes out and I feel like I've already gotten my money's worth.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Between Mrs. Brown and the Saints badass indeed.

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:28 a.m. CST


    by sweeneydave

    SCORE!! I was afraid Beorn was gonna fall by the wayside like Tom Bombadil.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:55 a.m. CST

    How about Billy Barty?

    by danny rose

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:02 a.m. CST

    Hell yeah!

    by awardgiver

    The man who replaced Johnny Fever as the teacher in Head of the Class! And he is a fan of Yes and Muhammed Ali...

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Simply phenomenal

    by mattforce7

    Honestly, this cast is shaping up to be really impressive

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:33 a.m. CST

    He's not even going to need prostethics!

    by Sean

    He and Aiden Turner get off light. I love that you know the other dwarves are a bit peeved that the pretty boy doesn't have to wear a faux beard or a big honker, just a damn rockstar wig. First they cast Lee Pace as the King of the Wood Elves, Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug (I believe he's doing the mocap...god yes) and now Connoly, the cast for this has me completely immersed already.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:35 a.m. CST


    by scotsman75


  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:36 a.m. CST


    by Sean

    Of course we know he's Scottish, at least the good ones do. His routine about getting caught masturbating is the stuff of legend.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:41 a.m. CST


    by scotsman75


  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:47 a.m. CST


    by FantasticAsh

    No no no no no no no

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:57 a.m. CST

    Fuck All - Are you Shitin' Me?

    by THX1968

    That there is perfect casting - all you teet suckin', labia flap tuggin', preschool pissin', butthole lickin' 14 year old cock cheese Triscuit(tm) spreadin', pubic hair countin', wish I could bed a Penthouse Pet strokin', Amazing Spider-Man cock suckin', MGM-Sony Payroll luvin' dipshits!!!! Yeah, I said it.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Yes, I'm Hammered

    by THX1968

    And AICN used to be soooo cool. Used to corral some wicked scoops. Now it's just a soap box for illiterate, Jerry Springer fodder.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:40 a.m. CST

    Good casting - now get Brian Blessed in the film somewhere FFS

    by i_got_worms

  • Seriously ... its like he has aged 20 years in about 5!!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:44 a.m. CST

    American Fatties

    by Fart Magnus

    One of my favourite Connolly bits is when he talks about visiting Disneyland for the first time with his kids. He reckons DL is like mecca for fat people and he does this impression of the fat family, walking down the street, taking up the whole footpath so nobody else could pass. He mentions the strange fat mound between their legs and how it's this whole other growth that normal people don't have. Thing is, it's done with Billy's usual rising anger and disbelief and sense of "WTF?!?!" Cracked me THE FUCK UP!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:05 a.m. CST

    Meh, who cares if Thorin is older than Dain?

    by Vince Ricardo

    Just get the much older guy to portray Dain and be done with it. Yeah, it doesn't REALLY matter in the Hobbit films who is older ... but you Tolkien geeks know you were thinkin' it! For myself, I'm just hopin' I can understand what the Hell Dain is sayin'.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:22 a.m. CST

    FUCK YES!!!

    by pills_26

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:40 a.m. CST


    by scotsman75


  • Connolly and rejoin the cast in X-Files 3, his psychic pedophile can see the coming alien invasion and can only combat them by returning to pedophilia with a vengance!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:43 a.m. CST

    Finally a REAL Scottish actor.

    by loafroaster

    Rhys Davis' accent sucked baws.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:45 a.m. CST

    vince_ricardo, "Just get the much older guy to portray Dain and be done with it"?

    by Talkbacker with no name

    Armitage (thorin) is younger than Billy Connolly, so the older guy is playing Dain. Your post has confused me.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:53 a.m. CST

    fookin brilliant!!!

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:02 a.m. CST

    his bit about that smell behind your ears?!?!

    by mattforce7


  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:20 a.m. CST

    Let's hope nobody heckles his performance on set and he runs away!

    by IAmTommyWiseau

    The guy should probably retire his standup after the events of last week.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:51 a.m. CST

    Will PJ use the Bilbo song by Leonard Nimoy?

    by Gorgomel

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 5:45 a.m. CST

    at least connolly

    by emeraldboy

    will be great entertainment off set. and will bring the laughs.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Funniest man on earth.

    by MaxTheSilent

    Bow down, bitches.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:06 a.m. CST

    gorgomel , Yes. Yes he will.

    by Talkbacker with no name

    It's the song to the opening and end credits as well as an instrumental version in the epic battle scene. Nimoy also has a cameo as Spock.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:11 a.m. CST

    When did Billy Connolly morph into Tim the Enchanter?

    by Ingeld

  • playing a dwarf.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Sod Billy Connolly - Where the fuck is Brian Blessed?

    by Denty420

    An opportunity missed by PJ and co.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:18 a.m. CST

    emeraldboy, yeah that's good

    by Talkbacker with no name

    I was really worried about who would be bringing the laughs and entertainment off set.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:22 a.m. CST

    They must be running out of brits/irish/scots...

    by GBH

    Yeah I remember him bashing LOTR as well... I guess they would rotha (rather) skip any more Elijah Woods fake accents and have more authentic ones, but they are really starting to scrape here.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:33 a.m. CST

    connolly would bring his guitar...

    by emeraldboy

    and his motorbike.... but its been a while since he used his guitar.. He used to be in a folk band with the late Gerry Rafferty called the Humblebums... back in his wilder days before he his shrink of a wife. Dr pamela stephenson. She threatened to divorce him by saying if you dont give up smoking, drinking and cursing I am leaving you. this is the moment they met... very funny...

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Billy's been heckled a lot recently ...

    by unclemonty666

    ... he's been walking out early from his live shows, due to some hecklers. Fuck them; he's wonderful. I can see him making a great mad-bastard warrior dwarf !!!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:44 a.m. CST


    by slone13

    Since when is an affection for a film's subject matter a necessity for hiring an actor. Of course money talks. He's an actor. It's his job. Idiot.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:29 a.m. CST


    by steve

    Poop! Willy!

  • Or written any scenes for her, or given her any makeup or costuming. They just let her show up whenever she wants and wander in and out of whatever scene they're shooting, talking her cute little gibberish. It'll all make sense in the editing suite.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:54 a.m. CST

    To be fair to Billy...

    by RitualNo1

    He only ever said he hadn't seen LOTR and that he wasn't interested. If he did watch it he would see the effects were a lot better than the 'plasticine gnomes' he thought would be in it.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    That’s awesome.

    by frank

    He is going to kick some ass at the battle of five armies.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST

    talkbacker with no name ...

    by Vince Ricardo

    ... if you don't understand it, I cannot help ya. ... ok, I'll try: In the books, Thorin is older than Dain (not a lot, 'bout 20 years or so, give or take a year or two). Here, in the film, the MUCH older actor is playin' Dain, when, really, he (well, maybe not Connolly) should be playin' Thorin. But, like I said, it doesn't really matter. 87.4% of the people seein' the film won't know that piece of Tolkien trivia, and 84.6% of them wouldn't give a crap about it if they did.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:53 a.m. CST

    He isnt an actor. He just morphed into one from his standup

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    Personally I dont think much of him. He's been irrelevent for 10 years, and, by all accounts, is a mean-spirited old cunt. Bah!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:54 a.m. CST

    This single act of casting....

    by Marshal_Lannes

    ...may have just turned the tide with me for the better on this. The teaser trailer got me to half way.... Feeling better and better about this.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Went to see him in stand last saturday.

    by alan_poon

    Fucking brilliant. I wanted to ask him about the little seen but brilliant Fido but alas I never got my chance. Me missus bumped into him in town though and her and her mate said he was absolutely charming.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Stand up goddamit

    by alan_poon

    As you were gentlemen.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Is it too late . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . for him to play Thorin?

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST


    by scotsman75


  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST

    So pleased!

    by Fettster_uk

    As a massive fan of Mr Connoly I couldn't be happier! He should be in every film but this just seems right.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:49 a.m. CST

    This is madness. Are there no actors left?

    by Crumb

    I'm sorry but every film I've seen him in I've always thought he stood out like a scotsman at charity event.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Fuck yeah! Bring on the holy vengeance!

    by D.Vader

  • "The Three shall spread their blackened wings and be the vengeful striking hammer of Eru. "

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:35 p.m. CST

    I keep reading these news stories

    by readyoufool

    hoping that I will suddenly be interested in seeing these two films but they pretty much just keep driving me a way. I think I've figured it out. It's not Billy Connelly in this story that turns me away, it's the use of phrases like "bad ass warrior dwarf". Bad ass? In the hobbit? I don't understand the desire to make the hobbit cooler or bad ass. It's already a book that has stood the test of time and now it's written about and transformed into a movie by people who think it needs dressed up for the screen. Now I finally understand people who hated the Lord of the Rings movies. You know what hasn't stood the test of time? Those three movies. They were fine at first but their impact has decayed over time. They really are not an accurate representation of the spirit of the books. They are like Pornography. And these two hobbit movies...I'm sure they'll be well made but I think they'll be soul-numbing to any true Tolkien Fan.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:52 p.m. CST

    @readyyoufool, it's not the movies that numb the soul

    by jazzdownunder

    it's the reaction of certain people in the audience. It's a safe bet that THE HOBBIT will NOT feature ANY "bad ass dwarf warriors" but that won't stop some people from raving about how bad ass the dwarf warriors were.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Battle of Five Armies is gonna be quite

    by Brian Hopper

    a spectacle. I believe it's only one chapter in The Hobbit (correct me if I'm wrong), but you can tell from casting (Connolly, Evangeline Lilly, etc.) that they're fleshing out characters or adding them outright, and a lot of it revolving around the Battle of Five Armies in the second movie. PJ is going to amp that sucker up to be the mother of all battle sequences.

  • Jackson shouldn’t try to make it more of a spectacle than the one in RotK. He should try to make it exciting by giving it a different dynamic rather than a larger scale, which should be easy given the types of people/animals fighting in the Bot5A vs. the Pelennor. That’s my opinion, anyway.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Love of story....

    by Darth Macchio

    Christophe Lee said in an interview after being cast as Saruman that Lord of the Rings is his favorite novel and he's read it every year, or just about every year, since the first time when he was a younger man. He was simply PERFECT as Saruman. Even other, arguably better, actors would not have come close to his interpretation in my mind. He wasn't just getting a paycheck. Not even close. Personally, I don't want people calling themselves actors who only show up because they want a paycheck. In the world of art and creativity, pay, while obviously necessary, should be the icing on the cake, not the sole reason for bothering to even do it. We don't call those people anything other than what they actually are: hacks - doing only the absolute bare minimum to get the job done and get paid. Now, while I love Connolly's stand-up and liked some of the roles he's done that I've seen, if he actually has any real gripes against the film then I'm not so sure this is a great thing. Now, in reality, it was probably just a part of his bit at the time and not how he really feels.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 1:10 p.m. CST

    LOTRs will hold up for a very long time

    by gus

    Whether or not you think they an accurate rep of the book doesnt make a bit of differance..As three films they are amazing...Unlike Star Wars, everything about LOTR was well done. SW acting and dialog was cheesy ( and im a huge fan) and thats what dates sw so badly...LOTR was well acting, the screenplay was great and of course the fx are incredible.Although those will soon be dated if not already. But because the films were so well made i think there no doubt that they will age very well. I can understand people not liking them in relation to the books, but if you look at them as just three films and nothing more its hard to argue that they are not great films.. Capturing every detail, or even most details, in a film is impossible and i can tell you the hobbit wont manage to do it either. but if you go in just hoping to see a good and fun movie i bet this will deliver

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Please for the love of jumped up Allah on a pogo stick

    by MoistMuskyCamelToe

    STOP with the "chewing the scenery" pat phrase. It's tired and done and totally meaningless. Fucking stupid. And yes Connolly is awesome. Go Dwarves.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST

    The acting and dialog in Empire is freaking great.

    by Randy

    Forget that crap, Empire strikes back is a masterpiece of not just a blockbuster but of filmmaking in general. It holds up to any of the three LOTR films, the fact it cameout in 1980 is even more amazing.

  • the acting improved alot as they grew into their roles and the screenplay was much more polished...i think its one of the greatest film ever made...My point is that LOTRs will hold up reguardless of its relation to the books because a well made film of that quaility can stand on its own...I can enjoy The Game Of Thrones even though i think they missed the tone of the books and got some of the characters all wrong...I never go into a film adaptation of a book expecting it to be anything like the book therefore i can judge the film on it own terms..

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Empire was great, one of the greatest films ever

    by gus

    Empire will hold up because the acting was good as they grew into there roles and the script was more polished, but a new hope has not aged well for me at all...LOTRs will hold up because great films usually do..especially when its so well made...i mean say what you will about its relation to the book but how can anyone deny its quality..what is its weakness as a film?

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Talking about himself of course.

    by Cureguy

  • ...a truly gut-wrenching film.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    vince_ricardo, got it. Thanks.

    by Talkbacker with no name

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Brilliant. Excellent casting.

    by wonderboy2402

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    "They really are not an accurate representation...

    by Michael Tyree

    ..of the spirit of the books." Really? Since Jackson and co. hit every major theme and even managed to throw in some pretty cool backstory, I'd say the spirit of the books was perfectly captured. Quibble all you want about Bombadil or the Scouring of the Shire being omitted but the fading of the Elves to the ascension of Men to Galadriel's final observance to the was every bit there. Both in spirit and flesh. Good heavens, with a tome so dense it's amazing how much WAS included! I do agree there were additons which only served to complicate some story threads. Nonetheless, I thought THE major theme, which perfectly captured the spirit of the overall story, was nailed perfectly. That is the scene where Aragorn, now crowned, and the gathered masses bowed down to the four Hobbits atop the Citadel of Minas Tirith. The elevation of the humble to positions of the high and mighty, as Tolkien said of his own work. Hah! I can already picture a diminutive Bill Connoly (**SPOILERS**) laying waste to that fucker Azog. And, years later, announcing to the Elves and Men gathered in front of the gates of Erebor to, in essence, get the fuck out of our way or we will stomp the living shite out of all of you! Hey, Dain was a bad-assed Dwarf warrior!