By Josh Rottenberg
April 01, 2011 at 09:33 PM EDT
Paul Schiraldi/HBO
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When stories began cropping up on the web this morning claiming director Peter Jackson wanted Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie in The Hobbit, some undoubtedly looked at the calendar and assumed it was an April Fool’s joke. Well, it’s no joke — EW has confirmed that McKenzie may be joining The Hobbit in a small role. Hardcore Lord of the Rings fans may know that McKenzie made two blink-and-you-missed-them appearances as an elf extra in The Fellowship of the Ring (during the Council of Elrond) and The Return of the King (telling Liv Tyler, “Lady Arwen, we cannot delay!”). McKenzie’s character was never named but fans dubbed him Figwit, as in, “Frodo is great — who is that?” Internet sites sprang up devoted to Figwit, and McKenzie’s wife Hannah Clarke made a short documentary in 2004 about the Figwit phenomenon. In Season 1 of Flight of the Conchords, McKenzie and co-star Jemaine Clements paid tribute to The Lord of the Rings with the song “Frodo, Don’t Wear the Ring.” The exact specifics of McKenzie’s role are not yet known, but given the unlikely Figwit following, it’s quite possible Jackson is bringing the character back as a sort of inside joke for fans. 

Here’s McKenzie in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

And here’s the Conchords’ “Frodo, Don’t Wear the Ring”:

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