By Adam B. Vary
Updated February 08, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST
Sylvain Gaboury / PR Photos

If there’s an actor alive better suited to play a great Middle Earth dwarf warrior than Billy Connolly, I’d certainly like to meet him. The voluble Scottish comedian and actor has been cast in both The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again as Dain Ironfoot, cousin to Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), the dwarf who leads Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and a band of dwarfs on a quest to win back a treasure from the dragon Smaug. “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,” director Peter Jackson said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see him on the Battlefield.”

With Connolly set in the role of Ironfoot, the cast of the films is now complete. The adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved precursor to The Lord of the Rings has been filming in New Zealand for months now, and the first of the films is due to hit theaters on Dec. 14.

Follow @adambvary

Read more:

‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ trailer: Gandalf! Galadriel! Goosebumps!

New ‘Hobbit’ photo: Dwarves!

‘The Hobbit’ production diary: Gandalf and Frodo hug. I cry.