Here's the first official photo from Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: There and Back and Again, which is the third film in the Hobbit trilogy. The photo features Orlando Bloom reprising his role as Legolas, and Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman.
Legolas isn't in the book, but he is part of the expanded Tolkien Middle Earth universe, which is being used to fill in some of the gaps. Jackson gives a little explanation,
He’s [elven king] Thranduil’s son, and Thranduil is one of the characters in The Hobbit. And because elves are immortal it makes sense Legolas would be part of the sequence in the Woodland Realm.
As for Bard the Bowman writer/producer Philippa Boyens explains that he'll have a bigger role in the film,
Bard is an interesting character, but [in the book] he’s kind of a random character who comes in after the fact. We take more time introducing him. We know from what follows that he was a father, so we [explore] that. I don’t think we take liberties, because it’s all there in the storytelling.
There's a ton of great stuff to look forward to seeing in these films that will be full of fun surprises! The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released next week on December 14th. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released on December 13th, 2013, and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will be released on July 18th, 2014.
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