Just a few days ago we found out that after so many complications, the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s fabled tale, The Hobbit, had finally received a greenlight by studios, and that Peter Jackson would indeed be returning to direct the two-part film.
At the same time, we heard that one of the front runners for the hotly pursued lead role of Bilbo Baggins, Martin Freeman, was ever so close to nabbing the job. This little dream casting for many is now officially a reality as Jackson has announced a chunk of castings for his film, including the confirmation of Mr. Freeman as Bilbo.
Freeman was one of what seemed to be three top fan choices along with James McAvoy and Doctor Who‘s David Tennant. The actor hasn’t done a ton of stuff to gain recognition here in the States, but you may best recognize him as the lead in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He also was on the original UK version of The Office, and had small roles in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Love, Actually.
Talking about the casting, Jackson made it clear that for them, there was never much choice in the matter, though many rumors we had heard over the past year or so would have you thinking otherwise.
Despite the various rumours and speculation surround this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us,” Peter Jackson said. There are a few times in your career when you come across an actor who you know was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin. He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave — exactly like Bilbo and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit.
To add to that, a bunch of supporting roles were also announced. Richard Armitage, who has starred in UK TV series Robin Hood and MI-5, and is also set to appear in Captain America: The First Avenger, will play the leader of the Company of Dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield. Graham McTavish, who has been in Rambo and 24, as well as a voice in many video games like Dragon Age: Origins and Uncharted 2: Among Theives, will be playing Dwalin. Being Human and The Clinic star Aidan Turner, as well as EastEnders and George Lucas’s Red Tails star Rob Kazinsky will play Kili and Fili, who are members of the Company of Dwarves. Rounding out the announced cast is John Callen as Oin, Stephen Hunter as Bombur, Mark Hadlow as Dori, and Peter Hambleton as Gloin.
Some of the cast from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, such as Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis are pretty much locks to return, though not official yet. Deadline, who first reported these castings, is also hearing that names like Stephen Fry (V for Vendetta), Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones), and Bill Nighy (Shaun of the Dead) are all possible for roles, with Nighy being one of the names up to voice Smaug. Aiden Turner (All My Children) is also said to be in the running to play The Elf King.
As for the rumor that David Tennant and James Nesbitt are possible for roles, that still seems possible but not confirmed. The report makes no mention of previously rumored Michael Fassbender, but it’s all still wait and see now.
All that really matters is that after oh, SO long…we finally have official castings to a movie that is moving forward, even with union disputes still rampant. Whether The Hobbit films in New Zealand or somewhere else, this is happening, folks.