Benedict Cumberbatch will be appearing in The Hobbit as both Smaug the dragon and the voice of the Necromancer.
Directed by Peter Jackson The Hobbit will be a trilogy of films starting with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey which was released on 14 December 2012. It will be followed by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on 13 December 2013 and the final instalment The Hobbit: There and Back Again which is due for release on 18 July 2014.
The Hobbit stars Martin Freeman (John Watson in BBC’s Sherlock) as Bilbo Baggins. The film also stars a host of well known British actors including Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Billy Connolly (Dain II Ironfoot), Stephen Fry (the Master of Laketown), Sylvester McCoy (Radagast the Brown), James Nesbitt (Bofur), Ken Stott (Balin), Luke Evans (Bard the Bowman) and Aidan Turner (Kili).
Reprising their roles from The Lord of the Rings trilogy are Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Orlando Bloom (Legolas) Hugo Weaving (Elrond) and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
Benedict Cumberbatch will portray Smaug through the use of motion capture technology and will voice the Necromancer (the character ultimately revealed to be Sauron).