Cate Blanchett is returning to the fantasy realm and has joined the cast of New Line, Warner Bros and MGM’s The Hobbit.

Peter Jackson (pictured) will commence principal photography in New Zealand on the two-part The Hobbit in February 2011. He famously directed the global smash Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Ken Stott, Sylvester McCoy and Mikael Persbrandt are also on board, as are Ryan Gage, Jed Brophy and William Kircher.

Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro co-wrote the screenplays.