Billy Connolly has joined the cast of the Hobbit movies – playing a dwarf king.
The 6ft comic is to play Dain Ironfoot, who appears briefly in the Tolkien story to fight in the Battle Of The Five Armies.
The scene appears relatively late in the book, so Connolly is not expected to appear until the second film in Peter Jackson’s two-part adaptation.
Jackson has issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter saying: ‘We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of Dwarves, than Billy Connolly, the Big Yin himself.
‘With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of The Hobbit is now complete. We can't wait to see him on the battlefield!’
Connolly joins a cast that includes comedy stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Stephen Fry as The Master of Laketown and Brett McKenzie from Flight Of The Conchords as elf Lindir. Other stars include Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett and Benedict Cumberbatch.
The first Hobbit film, An Unexpected Journey, will be released in December this year, with the second half, There and Back Again, in December 2013.