The latest round of casting news from The Hobbit swirls up at the oddest times, gets reported with question marks, pulled back under, and then reconfirmed. It’s kind of fun, and helps remind us Bard the Bowman never did get cast.

He might be Benedict Cumberbatch, though. According to Martin Freeman and Digital Spy, Cumberbatch is appearing in  The Hobbit…but oops, no one was supposed to know!  Freeman lamented that he’s “ruined everything” (how Bilbo of him) and no further details have been forthcoming.

So, who is Cumberbatch playing? Bard the Bowman?  That’s a pretty big part, and I fail to see why its casting  should be kept a secret.   Maybe Cumberbatch has some kind of cameo that gives a wink to Sherlock, though that’s a bit hard to imagine.  (Then again, they did let Sean Bean mutter “Still sharp!” which was allegedly a reference to his long running and legendary role as Richard Sharpe, but might have just been because Narsil cut his finger.)

At any rate, welcome to the cast, Mr. Cumberbatch. I’ve yet to see you turn in a bad performance, so I’m excited to see whoever it is you’re playing.