Orlando Bloom Readying A Return To Middle Earth

Orlando Bloom is reportedly close to finalizing a deal to reprise the role of Legolas for the upcoming Peter Jackson directed prequel The Hobbit.

Bloom played the role in all three of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. Although Legolas doesn’t appear in the Tolkien novel upon which the two Hobbit films are based, Bloom’s part will, apparently, be significantly larger than a cameo.

This news comes as something of a surprise as neither Sir Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis nor Hugo Weaving have yet finalized their deals to reprise their respective roles from The Lord of the Rings films.  Each of those actors respective characters—Gandalf, Gollum and Elrond, respectively—do appear in the book and are, in all likelihood, more integral to the story.

Fans needn’t fear, however, as all three actors are expected to finalize their deals before shooting on The Hobbit begins this February in New Zealand.

The first of the two Hobbit films is scheduled for release December 2012.