The character John Rhys-Davies played in the LotR, Gimli, doesn’t feature anywhere in The Hobbit. It is his father Gloin who happens to be one of the thirteen dwarves who go off on their adventure to the Lonely Mountain.
This is what Rhys-Davies had to say about getting a role in The Hobbit, back in 2009: “I’ve already been asked and to be honest with you, I wouldn’t. I have already completely ruled it out. There’s a sentimental part of me that would love to be involved again. Really, I am not sure my face can take that sort of punishment any more.”
While filming the LotR, Rhys-Davies had to undergo a facial reconstruction with prosthetics and it was a very painful process for him. Painful indeed, and not just ardous, because he developed a sort of an eczema in reaction to the prosthetic make-up. He does have a few different ideas about playing a different role in The Hobbit.
Rhys-Davies says, “I’d be interested in trying to create a different type of persona within… the thing. That is challenging as an actor. I’d really prefer to play something quite different. Maybe an Elf. They’ve got a different set of problems with The Hobbit because you’ve got 13 dwarves, a whole band of them… You’re trying to represent a whole race… You’re trying to do for dwarves what The Lord of the Rings did for hobbits.”
TheOneRing.net reports that he recently mentioned: “I was asked to return as one of the 13 dwarves, and I thought, why would I want to be one of 13 when I could be one of one?”
Rhys-Davies mentioned that he rang Matt Dravitszki, Peter Jackson’s assistant, and asked if they wanted him down in New Zealand to be a sort of “dwarf assistant”, talking to the new actors and helping them out here and there with his experiences. He said they never returned his call. Finally, he said that the 13 new dwarves have his “deepest sympathies” and that he is eagerly awaiting ‘The Hobbit’ just as much as anybody else.