The film, to be released in two parts, focuses on the adventures that take place in the realm of Middle Earth in a period preceding -- and sets the stage for -- the events in The Lord of the Rings.
Other stage veterans in the cast include Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Martin Freeman, Barry Humphries, Ian McKellen, and Lee Pace.
Connolly has appeared Off-Broadway and at Los Angeles' Ricardo Montalban Theatre. He is well known for his work on the TV series Head of the Class.
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