Billy Connolly joins the cast of the Hobbit dwarf Dain Ironfoot

MTV news reports funnyman Billy Connolly joins the cast of The Hobbit....

Better late than never! Even though Peter Jackson and the rest of the cast of "The Hobbit" have been busy filming the upcoming two films in New Zealand, there were still apparently characters left to be cast. But no longer.

Deadline is reporting that Billy Connolly has come on board to play the role of Dain Ironfoot. The dwarf warrior is the second cousin of head dwarf Thorin Oakenshield. The reason that Connolly was able to sign on so late in the game is because the character of Dain only has a small role in "The Hobbit," and likely will only appear in the second "Hobbit" film, "There and Back Again," which comes out in 2013.

Though Dain has a larger role in the "Lord of the Rings" mythology, in "The Hobbit" he only appears after Thorin asks him to help the dwarves on their quest to reclaim Erebor. After he receives Thorin's request, Dain sets out with an army of several hundred dwarves and arrives just in time to help his second cousin in the Battle of Five Armies, an event that occurs at the end of "There and Back Again." To keep this relatively spoiler free, let's just say that Dain steps into a larger role once the battle concludes.

"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," Jackson said in a statement to Deadline. "With Billy stepping into this role, the cast of 'The Hobbit' is now complete. We can’t wait to see him on the Battlefield!"

Connolley joins a star-studded cast that includes Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Andy Serkis, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner and James Nesbitt. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" hits theaters on December 14, while "The Hobbit: There And Back Again" will premiere on December 13, 2013.

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