Peter Jackson recasts Fili, signs Lee Pace to ‘The Hobbit’

Dean O'Gorman drafted in after Robert Kazinsky's departure

Peter Jackson has recast the role of Fili in The Hobbit after Robert Kazinsky quit the project for “personal reasons” last month.

Dean O’Gorman, the star of The Almighty Johnsons in his native New Zealand, will now play the dwarf character in the Lord Of The Rings prequel.

Jackson also announced that Lee Pace will take the role of Elven King Thranduil in the much-delayed movie.

Revealing the news on his Facebook page, Facebook.com/PeterJacksonNZ, Jackson described ‘O’Gorman as a “terrific Kiwi actor”.

He added that Pace was his “first choice” for the role of Thranduil.

The two-part prequel has been subject to a series of delays, after studio MGM suffered financial troubles.

The project also lost its original director Guillermo Del Toro, paving the way for Jackson to return to the franchise.

The Office actor Martin Freeman will star as Bilbo Baggins in the movie, with Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood and Cate Blanchett reprising their roles from The Lord Of The Rings.