Earlier today we learned that The Hobbit would undergo a slight production delay. Director Peter Jackson had a bit of a health scare and was required to undergo surgery for an ulcer. Even though that rained on our parade, we have something positive to make up for it. According to IFTN, Jackson’s The Lovely Bones star Saoirse Ronan has joined the cast of The Hobbit!

We seriously didn’t see this casting coming. Thus far, many of the stars featured in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy have been announced to reprise their roles including Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, and even Elijah Wood. Ronan’s character is currently unknown but casting director Ros Hubbard said the actress will have a great time during the shoot.

“[W]orking with Peter Jackson is like working with a family,” says Hubbard, “So they’ll have a great time. Saoirse’s family will go too. Everyone is very close and very loving on those sorts of jobs. It’s not like typical studio movies at all.”

Hmm, but what does this all mean? For those of you who are familiar with The Hobbit, who could Ronan play? Perhaps the younger version of a female character from Lord of the Rings?

What do you think of Ronan joining The Hobbit?