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New Line Announces Hobbit Cast, Confirms Martin Freeman As Bilbo

New Line Cinema has announced part of the cast of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, confirming Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in the two-movie adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s famed fantasy novel.

“Despite the various rumors and speculation surrounding this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us,” Jackson said in the press release. “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.”

Freeman (The Office, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) will be joined by a company of dwarves composed, in part, of: Richard Armitage (MI-5, Captain America: The First Avenger) as Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the dwarves; Aiden Turner (Being Human) and Rob Kazinsky (EastEnders) as Thorin’s nephews Kili and Fili; Graham McTavish (Secretariat, 24) as Dwalin; John Callen (Power Rangers Jungle Fury) as Oin; Stephen Hunter (All Saints) as Bombur; Mark Hadlow (King Kong) as Dori; and Peter Hambleton (The Strip) as Gloin.

That’s only eight dwarves, so expect five more names to fill out Thorin’s company. The press release also doesn’t mention Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis, who are expected to reprise their Lord of the Rings roles as Gandalf and Gollum. Absent, too, is Hugo Weaving as Elrond, as well as characters like Beorn and Bard the Bowman. Presumably we’ll see more announcements in the weeks to come.

Casting, however, may be the least of The Hobbit‘s worries Although the $400-million project finally received a greenlight last week, Warner Bros. is still threatening to move production out of New Zealand following a union boycott.

Published in 1937, The Hobbit follows the home-loving halfling Bilbo Baggins, who joins a band of dwarves in a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and its fabled treasure from the dragon Smaug.

The two films are set to begin production in February for release in December 2012 and December 2013.

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Comments

  • Scarletspeedster7

    Sooooo excited for Freeman in this role. Especially given the lighter tone of The Hobbit compared to LotR.

  • RetroWarbird

    That is a FRIGGING amazing bit of casting.

    (Fingers crossed for David Tennant as Bard … fingers crossed … fingers crossed.)

  • Fakecity

    This is the greatest possible news. Fantastic!

  • Fantasticbenny

    Dude! How'd they manage to lock down the guy from Power Rangers Jungle Fury?!

  • MOTA

    David Tennant as Bard perhaps is over egging the doctor Who element is this production, since McCoy is already been announced as being in the cast as well.

  • demoncat_4

    an interesting cast so far. proving that the hobbit is one step closer to reality. can not wait to learn who else is in it including who will voice Smaug. as for where to shoot the films. hope something can be worked out for new zealand. if not who ever does get the hobbit to fim there will be part of movie history.

  • Michael

    Del Toro had to bow out because it took so long to get greenlit it pushed into projects he was already committed to. He may get a producer or story/writing credit as a result of work he’d already done with Jackson et al.

  • loves movies

    What happened to the director Del Torro?

  • hgd

    They HAVE to get Hugo Weaving. I don't think anyone else could pull it off. Although, Guy Pearce could probably do it too.

  • http://corporate-sellout.com Thad

    Great news; I'd heard he was out because of a schedule conflict with Sherlock (which he's fantastic in).