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Orlando Bloom to return as Legolas in 'The Hobbit' films

Orlando Bloom cast in 'The Hobbit'
Orlando Bloom
is officially heading back to Middle-earth to reprise his role as hot elf Legolas in the "Hobbit" films -- the prequel to "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Orlando Bloom as LegolasThe film's producer and director Peter Jackson wrote on his Facebook page Friday: "I'm thrilled to be working with Orlando again. Funny thing is, I look older -- and he doesn't! I guess that's why he makes such a wonderful elf."

Recently, Bloom has been playing the role of new dad with wife and Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr.

The British actor will join Elijah Wood, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen in the much-anticipated prequel to "The Lord of the Rings" story that  takes place 60 years before J.R.R. Tolkien's epic trilogy. British thespian Stephen Fry was added to the cast last week as Master of Laketown.

Shooting for the two 3-D films began in mid-March in New Zealand and will hit theaters in late 2012 and 2013, according to Variety.

Bloom recently read Shakespearean passages at a Los Angeles Philharmonic performance and was noticeably absent from the most recent installment of "The Pirates of the Caribbean."

But expect to see quite a bit more of him in the coming year. Bloom will star as the Duke of Buckingham in October in Paul W.S. Anderson's "The Three Musketeers," which also stars Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Milla Jovovich, Christoph Waltz and Juno Temple.

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-- Nardine Saad
twitter.com/NardineSaad

Photos: Top, Orland Bloom. Credit: D Dipasupil / Getty Images. Bottom: Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." Credit: Pierre Vinet / New Line Home Entertainment

 
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