When Peter Jackson said that he was bringing every possible actor he could find from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy into The Hobbit out of some deep-seated fear that without their comforting presence, audiences would somehow dismiss it, thereby sending him into a shame spiral of binge eating that would cause him to regain all the weight he’s lost—actually, wait, Peter Jackson didn’t say this. These were our own cynical conclusions, based entirely on the fact that The Hobbit is increasingly turning into some sort of Middle Earth high school reunion. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course; some bleed-over is to be expected, even if some of Jackson’s efforts to ensure the films link up lately feel strangely compulsive.
Anyway, the newest LOTR actor confirmed to return is Ian Holm, who will reprise his role as the elder Bilbo Baggins, despite the fact that The Hobbit already has a Bilbo Baggins—namely Martin Freeman, who seems increasingly lucky to be getting any screen time at all. And presumably Holm will appear in some of those bookend sequences that also feature Elijah Wood, thereby providing yet more footage for sentimental YouTube tribute videos celebrating their special relationship. Because sadly, right now there’s just this one.