Although The Hobbit seemed to have locked down just about everyone from the Lord Of The Rings series that wasn’t a talking tree or Sean Bean, there were two notable holdouts—namely Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis to play Gandalf and Gollum, respectively, the only returning characters whose participation was actually crucial to the Hobbit’s story. But fans can rest easy now, as both have now officially signed on, negating any need to recast them with not-quite-right substitutes. Somewhere, John Hurt sadly folds a long white beard back into a box.

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