The release and news arrived yesterday that Billy Connolly will play Dain II Ironfoot in the two forthcoming Hobbit movies, directed by Peter Jackson, and with that, all the pieces of the films are in place.

Here in the underground labyrinth that serves as TORn’s offices (with doors leading to L.A., Atlanta, Kenosha and Wellington among other places) a big sigh of relief could audibly heard. Dain II Ironfoot will be included; a talented actor, somebody who already looks like a Middle-earth dwarf, and is a skilled performer will be handling the role. Awesome.

We have full confidence in Connolly — who is best known for his comedy — in what might be inspired casting. His credibility comes from small, dramatic roles (The Last Samurai) which he handles just fine but more from independent films, playing larger parts and lead roles, giving him a lot of experience in front of the camera. General audiences may only think of comedy (and there may be plenty of that in The Hobbit anyway) but they should recognize his considerable talent.

Much more central the sigh of relief was the clarity that the Dain character is in. The complete absence of this important dwarven hero from news or casting announcement was a genuine concern among those trying to piece everything together. It was a glaring omission. Continue reading “Why Dain and Connolly is good news for ‘Hobbit’ fans”