Director Peter Jackson confirmed the news (BOO!) via Facebook on Sunday (April 24). He said the 27-year-old English actor, who is known for his portrayal of Sean Slater on the long-running BBC One soap opera EastEnders, had to leave because of “personal reasons.”
“I am sad to report that Rob Kazinsky, who was cast in the role of Fili, is having to leave The Hobbit and return home, for personal reasons,” Jackson wrote. “Rob has been terrific to work with and his enthusiasm and infectious sense of humour will be missed by all of us. I should say that Rob’s departure will not affect ongoing filming of The Hobbit, nor will it impact work done to date, as we had yet to film much of Fili’s storyline. At the moment we are shooting scenes featuring Bilbo without the Dwarves, which will give us time to find a new Fili. I’ll keep everyone posted with updates as they come.”
“Thanks for all your support, Peter and team have been the most wonderful and supportive team to work for and it’s with a truly sad heart that things have turned out this way,” he tweeted. “The Hobbit will go on to be as great as I’ve seen and I will miss the family and friends that I’ve here. From every disaster I’ve tried to make an opportunity. ‘john d rokerfeller’ (sic).”
Kazinsky’s exit is just one of a few snags that’s plagued The Hobbit so far. Guillermo del Toro was previously attached to direct the two-part prequel, while some financial difficulties also prevented the film from getting off the ground in recent years. And earlier this year, filming was delayed due Jackson’s surgery for a stomach ulcer. Here’s hoping Kazinsky’s health matters pan out positively and quickly, and that the part of Fili is recast without any problems.