While it may be three films and almost two years away, a brand new image from The Hobbit: There and Back Again has arrived online featuring our first glimpse of Orlando Bloom’s return as Legolas and Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman.
The third film in the trilogy, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, isn’t scheduled to be released until July 18, 2014, although it looks like the marketing train for the trilogy won’t stop with the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey next week.
Take a look at the still below, via Entertainment Weekly:
While Legolas doesn’t explicitly appear in Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Peter Jackson explains his appearance in the film: “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’s role in the film, co-writer and producer Philippa Boyens says, “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.”
Whether you’re pleased to see Legolas return for The Hobbit or not, you’ll have to wait to see precisely what his role in the film is.
UPDATE: See the first photo from the second Hobbit film, The Desolation of Smaug!