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Superhero Movies News

Martin Freeman to Play Bilbo Baggins in 'The Hobbit'?

Though we still haven't received word on when (or if) The Hobbit will actually continue along its path to production, eventually arriving in theaters in 2012 and 2013 in two parts, some news has begun to crop up regarding who will play the lead role in the film.

Martin Freeman

As you Lord of the Rings fans probably already know, the character of Bilbo Baggins (played by Ian Holm in the Peter Jackson-directed trilogy) will be front and center (and a bit younger) for this Lord of the Rings prequel. The other day The Sunday Times had reported that Peter Jackson, along with MGM and New Line, had offered the part to Martin Freeman, who starred in the original British version of The Office, as well as films like Hot Fuzz and A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but that he had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with his Sherlock Holmes TV show across the pond.
 
Now, though, Entertainment Weekly has piped up saying that both MGM and New Line have figured out a schedule that would work for Freeman and allow him to do both The Hobbit and his TV show. Sources claim they've now gone back and put another offer on the table for Freeman, which sounds like they're finally getting serious again about making these two films.
 
That's great and all, but we still don't know who will direct. Remember, Guillermo del Toro dropped out after the project was continually delayed, and rumors circulated that Peter Jackson would just take it on himself. After a disappointing run for The Lovely Bones, I wouldn't be surprised if the director returned to Middle Earth one more time to regain some momentum.
 
What do you think of Martin Freeman playing Bilbo? Does casting here matter to you much considering the first Lord of the Rings films featured (at the time) a whole group of up-and-comers, as well as unfamiliar names?
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