Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit (the prequel to his Lord of the Rings trilogy) is underway with veterans Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Ian Holm and Orlando Bloom. It stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins.

And the not-so-surprising part? McKellen mentioned on his blog that Hugo Weaving officially reprised his role as Elrond; and is currently filming his scenes for The Hobbit. Weaving is a very charismatic actor and his return to the franchise will only better the movie.

It’s pretty awesome that Peter Jackson has gathered a lot of the original cast. There’s also the fact that Andy Serkis is not only playing Gollum again, but will also serve as second unit director.

The Hobbit will release in two parts, with part one being released December 19, 2012.