Peter Jackson has been slowly assembling his cast for The Hobbit, the upcoming prequel to his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jackson hired British actor Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins last October, then brought back Cate Blanchett as Galadriel in December. Blanchett's character does not appear in J.R.R. Tolkien's original novel, but neither did Elijah Wood's Frodo, though Wood will also return as Frodo, possibly in a narrator kind of role.
Two characters who were are definitely in Tolkien's Hobbit are the wizard Gandalf and Gollum, played respectively by Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis, who, curiously, had yet to be signed for the two-part prequel. That's all about to change. who else will be returning? >> Posted 01.11.11 by Ryan
British actor Martin Freeman (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Office), was rumored for the role of Bilbo Baggins in the two-part adaptation of The Hobbit in September, and now that the movie has been greenlit with Peter Jackson directing, the actor has been confirmed in the role.
"Despite the various rumors and speculation surround this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us," Peter Jackson told Deadline. "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." More cast revealed >> Posted 10.22.10 by Ryan
Since Guillermo del Toro decided to drop out as director of The Hobbit, Sir Ian McKellen has been the one constant, even going so far as to calm fans by announcing that shooting could commence by the end of the year. But as time goes by without a resolution to the empty director's chair, McKellen appears anxious to move on to other projects. The actor appeared on Good Morning a New Zealand morning show (via SlashFilm) to promote his tour of the Samuel Beckett play Waiting For Godot, and mentioned that nothing new has transpired regarding the troubled production. Will McKellan Stick around? >> Posted 07.06.10 by Ryan
Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Andy Serkis (Gollum), and Hugo Weaving (Elrond) are confirmed to reprise their LOTR roles in The Hobbit, the prequel to The Lord of the Rings (LOTR), but the lead role of Bilbo Baggins has yet to be cast. Based on a statement from producer Peter Jackson less than a month ago, the part would likely go to an unknown or lesser-known actor found in a "casting sweep," rather than to a "name" actor.
A recent open casting call list posted by SpoilerTV seemed to indicate that Jackson planned on making good on his comments about casting unknowns in major roles, as the list includes the title character, Bilbo Baggins, as well as a collection of humans, elves, dwarves, a wizard, and even the dragon Smaug, which is listed as a voiceover role.
However, shortly after the list was posted, our friends at TheOneRing did somefollow up on the news with their undisclosed sources and it appears that the list may be bogus or simply no longer pertinent to the production.
After touching base with more of our contacts, we’ve been notified that this is not a valid list of lead roles and, in fact, some of the roles listed in the links are not relevant.
While casting an unknown in such an expensive production may seem like a risky proposition — especially in light of how cash-strapped MGM is right now — Jackson pointed out that the LOTR trilogy was not "star-driven." He went on to say that the true "star" is the late J.R.R. Tolkien, the creator of the LOTR universe.
A recent Tweet from Production Weekly declared that The Hobbit would begin its14-month productionthis June in New Zealand. Like the LOTR movies, The Hobbit films — one film split into two parts, a la Kill Bill — are being filmed concurrently. Posted 01.07.10 by BrentJS
Casting has officially begun on Guillermo del Toro's adaptation of The Hobbit, and Peter Jackson wants to see some of the same faces from his Lord of the Rings trilogy.
In an interview with MTV, Jackson stated that he would like to see Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving return as the elves Galadriel and Elrond, respectively. The story of The Hobbit takes place 60 years before events in Lord of the Rings, and since elves are immortal, Galadriel and Elrond would not have changed much in appearance. The same goes for the wizard Gandalf, and fans are anxious to see Ian McKellen return in that role as well.
There's nothing definitive, however, and Jackson gave an update as to where things stand with Blanchett and Weaving:
We have a process that would start with showing them the script. We're not [beginning] any official process until we have the "official" script that they can read. We already know that McKellen has seen the script, even gotten a copy of his own. So the question now becomes where Jackson, del Toro, et al are in the writing process.... It's two movies, and we've written the first script, which the studio responded well to. And we're now halfway through the second script.
Elrond does make an appearance in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, although Galadriel does not. However, including her does not seem like it would result in excessive artistic license. She is well present in the mythology and could easily be worked in to the story without diverting too much from Tolkien's blueprint. Posted 12.09.09 by reelz
Casting for The Hobbit begins in earnest this week, and everything except Gandalf is up for grabs, says producer Peter Jackson. Noting how many interesting unknowns — like Orlando Bloom as Legolas — have turned out so well, he emphasizes that the results may not be what anyone is expecting:
Apart from Ian McKellen, who we obviously want to return as Gandalf, we are not really offering any roles to anybody until we've done a casting sweep.... (These movies) have never been a star-driven vehicle. The star is (author J.R.R.) Tolkien and the world he created. We are not under any pressure. We want to find the right people. Casting someone to portray a hobbit is not as easy as you might imagine. They have to have a particular type of physical appearance and a sensibility. And the same with an elf or a dwarf. These are fantastical characters, but you've got to find the right people to play them, the right humans to translate these characters.
Of course, statements like this do nothing to stop speculation. Among the more interesting casting possibilities currently floating about is that gruff-voiced singer Tom Waits is up for a part, perhaps as the voice of dragon Smaug. And then there is the odd rumor that they are casting one female part that was not included in Tolkien's book.
Although he did not address any of these rumors, Jackson did specifically deny reports that production on The Hobbit had been delayed:
We were always planning to shoot around April or May next year, and as far as I'm aware, we're pretty much on target for that. It depends on how quickly the studio greenlights the film. It's not in our hands. But as long as we're shooting next year, we're fine. Posted 12.08.09 by reelz
Talking to Sci Fi Wire, Ian McKellen (Gandalf) says that he has finally had a chance to read the script for Guillermo del Toro's live-action adaptation of The Hobbit ... and he "couldn't be happier" with it. And why shouldn't he be, since the part was written specifically with him in mind:
As Peter has said, they loved writing Gandalf [for The Hobbit] because they knew who they were writing him for. ... There are a lot of characters in The Hobbit, including, crucially, Bilbo, and they don't know who's going to play Bilbo. So it's extremely attractive that this part has been written for me. The other Gandalf was written for, well, just as Gandalf. There's lots for me to enjoy, in all sorts of ways. And I couldn't be happier. But I'm sworn to secrecy. I'm not to say anything at all about the script.
McKellen goes on to offer some reassurance about the continuity between The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings now that it is being helmed by del Toro, rather than Peter Jackson:
They are the same person. ... They were separated at birth. They're twins. They have the same attitude. Neither likes working in Hollywood. They're both fascinated by fantasy and violence on the screen, and gore, and things that frighten you. They like going into the psyche. They're both brilliant storytellers in very much the same way. And I think the script, because I have read it, plays very much to Guillermo's strengths, as I've seen them. I have seen his other movies, and people act very well in them. So I think it's all fine. And Peter will always be there.
Hopefully, this is all a signal that casting can now begin in earnest. Who's going to play Bilbo? Inquiring minds want to know. Posted 11.03.09 by reelz
Many fans are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Guillermo del Toro's vision of The Hobbit, due in 2012. For the uninitiated, The Hobbit is based on the J. R. R. Tolkien book of same name, which takes place before his Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Several of The Hobbit's characters were featured in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies — leaving many to wonder if members of Jackson's cast would appear in del Toro's adaptation. According to the director himself, we can expect at least three familiar faces. In an interview with BBC Radio 5, he confirmed (around the 2:10:45 mark) that Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, and Hugo Weaving will reprise their roles as the wizard Gandalf, the treacherous Gollum, and the elf lord Elrond, respectively.
No other casting decisions have been announced. The screenplay was written by del Toro and Jackson, along with Lord of the Rings co-writers Phillipa Boyens and Fran Walsh. Posted 06.12.09 by reelz
When it comes to The Hobbit, the prequel to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Ian McKellen returning as Gandalf or Andy Serkis returning as Gollum seems natural, considering their characters' involvement in the original J.R.R. Tolkein novel, but Dominic Monaghan and his fellow hobbits returning seems odd, since their characters were not even born when The Hobbit takes place. Still, that's precisely what Monaghan revealed to MTV: "They really want us to come back, and I think there's a really strong chance that we might be back."
The return of Monaghan and company would have to include some serious re-writes, however. "We're not in 'The Hobbit,' no, but I think the idea in [Peter Jackson's and director Guillermo del Toro's] heads is that the trilogy of the Lord of the Rings films was so beloved by the fans that they're really keen to try to say thank you for the support that they gave to the Lord of the Rings movies and possibly bring back some of those characters that they know and love."
Whether Monaghan and company will appear in The Hobbit or its sequel, which will link the movie to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is uncertain.
One thing that is is clear is that Serkis is ready to protect his "precious" again as Gollum: "I am going to really be looking forward to it," he told ComingSoon.net, "I mean the combination between [Del Toro] and Peter is extraordinary as well. I know they are writing at the moment." Posted 01.19.09 by Ryan