Peter Jackson taps ‘Lovely Bones’ star for ‘Hobbit’ role

By Sean O’Connell Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” added a new face, even though the “face” has a direct connection to the director.

Saoirse Ronan, who starred in Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones,” has joined the “Hobbit” ensemble in an as-yet-unnamed role, according to The Irish Film & Television Network (via ComingSoon).

“[W]orking with Peter Jackson is like working with a family,” casting director Ros Hubbard said in the interview. “So they’ll have a great time. Saoirse’s family will go too. Everyone is very close and very loving on those sorts of jobs. It’s not like typical studio movies at all.”

OK, “Hobbit” fans, whom do you think the elfin Ronan will play? IMDB lists her character’s name as Itaril. She’s certainly talented enough to occupy any position, having earned an Oscar nomination for her turn in Joe Wright’s “Atonement.” She also appears to have director loyalty, as her next picture – the spy thriller “Hanna” – is a Wright joint, and she’s heading right back to Jackson’s film set. You have to love that.

“The Hobbit” will be released in two parts beginning December 2012.

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