You would think that since ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ has been in production for some time now that some details have been completed, for example: casting. But it seems that director Peter Jackson has been holding out to find the perfect person to play a particular role and it looks like he found his man. THR is reporting that comedian turned actor Billy Connolly has been cast as Dain Ironfoot, a great dwarf warrior and second cousin of Thorin Oakenshield.

If you recall in ‘The Hobbit’ books, Dain Ironfoot responded to Thorin’s call for help during his quest to reclaim Erebor. Dain, with several hundred other Dwarves, arrive just in time for the Battle of Five Armies. Since the battle occurs towards the end of the saga, that might explain why Connolly was not cast sooner.

Jackson made the announcement today saying “We could not think of a more fitting actor to play Dain Ironfoot, the staunchest and toughest of Dwarves, than Billy Connolly, the Big Yin himself. With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of ‘The Hobbit’ is now complete. We can’t wait to see him on the Battlefield!”

Connolly is primarily known as a comedian but has a pretty extensive list of movie appearances. He has taken on dramatic parts in the past including roles in ‘X-Files: I Want to Believe, ‘Timeline,’ and ‘The Last Samurai.’ He can next be seen in the Pixar animation ‘Brave’ voicing the character of King Fergus and in the dramedy ‘Quartet’ with Dustin Hoffman, both to be released sometime this year.

It wasn’t mentioned whether Connolly would be in only one ‘Hobbit’ movie or both. For all we know, he could be down there filming right now! He joins Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Andy Serkis who are all reprising their roles from ‘Lord of the Rings’ as well as Martin Freeman (‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, ‘Sherlock’) who has been cast as Bilbo Baggins.

So now the casting is complete and what a cast it is! The excitement for ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ is growing and December can’t come soon enough! What do you think of Connolly’s addition to the cast?

‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ debuts in theaters December 14, 2012 with the second installment, ‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’ premiering on December 13, 2013.