Irish starlet Saoirse Ronan is set to join the cast of Peter Jackson’s forthcoming fantasy adventure The Hobbit.

The J.R.R. Tolkein adaptation, and prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, has already nabbed Irishman James Nesbitt for a role as the outspoken dwarf Bofur. Elijah Wood,Ian McKellan, Andy Serkis and Orlando Bloom all return from the trilogy to join newcomers Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Aidan Turner.

The addition of Ronan news comes from an interview that casting director Ros Hubbard, who said in an interview with IFTN “… working with Peter Jackson is like working with a family. 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.”

Ronan has teamed up with Jackson before on the directors last movie The Lovely Bones and is becoming increasingly more prominent in big-budget Hollywood productions. She will next appear in Joe Wright’s teen assassin film Hanna, with Eric Bana, later this year.

The Hobbit Part I is scheduled to be released in December 2012, with The Hobbit Part II set to follow in December 2013.

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