Actor Stephen Fry has been cast in The Hobbit as The Master of Laketown.

Filmmaker Peter Jackson made the announcement on Facebook as the production nears the end of its first shooting block, when it will undertake editing and visual effects, as well as prepare for some upcoming scenes.

"I've known Stephen for several years, and we're developing a Dambusters movie together," Jackson wrote. "In addition to his writing skills, he's a terrific actor and will create a very memorable Master for us."

The Master's conniving civil servant, Alfrid, will be played by Ryan Gage.

"Ryan is a great young actor who we originally cast in a small role, but we liked him so much, we promoted him to the much larger Alfrid part."

Meanwhile, Conan Stevens will be playing an Orc called Azog.

The Hobbit, a 3D adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s classic fantasy book, started filming in New Zealand in March. It will be released as two films in late-2012 and 2013.

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