Benedict Cumberbatch IS Smaug in ‘The Hobbit!’

Martin Freeman's co-star in Sherlock to talk down to him from greater heights in Peter Jackson's latest.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

Holy crap, will The Hobbit ever stop casting? How big is this movie anyway? It's practically Tolkien-esque and… Wait… Anyway, today we learned that Benedict Cumberbatch and Luke Evans have joined Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings prequel as Smaug and Bard, respectively. For fans of the BBC's new Sherlock series, in which Cumberbatch stars alongside The Hobbit's Martin Freeman, this is the most awesome geek news in a long time.

The deep-voiced thespian has become a master at talking down to Martin Freeman, which is a good thing because as The Hobbit's great dragon adversary that's part of his job description. He's joined in the cast now by Luke Evans, who as Bard the Bowman of Esgaroth has the distinct honor of doing battle with the winged serpent. Evans will next be seen in Paul W.S. Anderson's The Three Musketeers as Aramis, and Tarsem Singh's The Immortals as the mighty Zeus. Deadline had both stories.

Luke Evans hasn't broken out yet (but appears on the verge), so it's easier to get excited by the note-perfect casting of Benedict Cumberbatch, who will also perform motion-capture duties for Smaug in the film.

Crave Online will return with more Hobbit news because apparently they will never, ever, ever finish casting this danged thing.