This one isn’t an April Fools joke… we promise!

It looks like second time lucky for Irish actor Stuart Townsend who has been signed to play the role of Bard, a skilled archer from Dale. Townsend was originally cast as Aragorn in the original ‘Lord Of The Rings’ trilogy but left the movie shortly after filming began and was later replaced by Viggo Mortensen.

Speaking of the role casting director Thomas Williams said “This is a great chance for Stuart to return to Middle-earth and bring his immeasurable talents to the production”

We reported back in January that Saoirse Ronan had joined the movie. (Click here)

Today it was revealed that Saoirse will play the role of Itaril, the quick SIlvan elf dedicated to protecting the Elf King of Mirkwood. It is the second time Ronan has worked with Peter Jackson who had previously cast her in his 2009 film ‘The Lovely Bones’. 

Of course if you haven’t figured it out yet, our earlier report that Jedward had joined the cast of The Hobbit was indeed an April Fools joke.
The above is all true though.  

The two “Hobbit” films are expected for release in late 2012 and 2013 respectively