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    Cate Blanchett's Ears Perk Up for The Hobbit

    Lord of the Rings, Cate Blanchett New Line Cinema

    Why, Lady Galadriel, you haven't changed a bit!

    Cate Blanchett will reteam with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson to reprise her role as the grandest elf of all in The Hobbit, which starts shooting in New Zealand in February.

    "Cate is one of my favorite actors to work with and I couldn't be more thrilled to have her reprise the role she so beautifully brought to life in the earlier film," Jackson said Tuesday.

    The Australian Oscar winner is the first major star from the LOTR trilogy to be announced as a member of the Hobbit cast since the two-part prequel was officially greenlighted in October. Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis were said to be on board, but that was before the production hit a string of speed bumps.

    Martin Freeman, a player in the British Office and Dr. Watson in the modern-day Sherlock, leads the brigade as Bilbo Baggins.

    PHOTOS: Casting Couch

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