I have taken a look at the IMDB page for it and a few rumours about the casting have intrigued me. David Tennant and Leonard Nimoy are both rumoured to have parts; as Thranduil and Smaug, respectively. I hope that Leonard Nimoy is just a rumour, because I really think Smaug should be voiced by an Englishman, but I’m intrigued at the rumor of Tennant as Thranduil. I haven’t seen him in anything for nearly half a decade, when I stopped watching Doctor Who, so I have very little idea of his acting ability but I’m very curious.
I also see that according to the IMDB page that they are keeping Beorn… thanks be… for some reason, the animated version, which some of you may remember, left him out. I think he’s an absolutely crucial character.
I’m a little concerned at the inclusion of Galadriel and Saruman, and the apparent addition of some completely new character called “Itaril”. I suppose Hollywood is incapable of making movies with no female characters, as they would have to if they stuck to the text, but honestly, sticking characters who, as far as I can remember, make no appearance whatsoever in any of Tolkien’s works is stretching it a bit. I’m sure there’s material in the appendices… but oh well.