Orlando Bloom is ready to slide back in the saddle as the elf-prince Legolas from the "The Lord of the Rings" movies for Peter Jackson's upcoming two-part adaptation of "The Hobbit." It's a move that may irk some die-hard fans of the J.R.R. Tolkien novels — Legolas does not appear in the bookshelf version of "The Hobbit," a tale set 60 years before "The Lord of the Rings" unfolds.
"Ten years ago, Orlando Bloom created an iconic character with his portrayal of Legolas," Jackson said in an announcement on his Facebook page. "I'm excited to announce today that we'll be revisiting Middle Earth with him once more. 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."
Bloom, who next appears as the Duke of Buckingham in "The Three Musketeers" in October, is one of several actors from the original "Lord of the Rings" franchise whom Jackson has enlisted for "The Hobbit." Elijah Wood returns as Frodo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Andy Serkis as Gollum. Also, Cate Blanchett will reprise the role of Galadriel, another character absent from "The Hobbit" novel.
Martin Freeman, best known from the British version of "The Office," plays the lead role of Bilbo Baggins in the movie, which is currently shooting in New Zealand. The first Hobbit film is slated for release in late 2012, the second in 2013. …