Sir Ian Holm Will Return as (Older) Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit
04.23.11 by BJSprecher
Fan queries about the identity of the actor behind the voice-over at the end of co-writer and director Peter Jackson's first video blog from the set of The Hobbit have prompted Jackson to reveal the surprising addition of another member of the original cast of The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) to the two-part prequel currently being filmed in New Zealand.
In the video blog, a hand can be seen reaching for the "One Ring," the all-powerful ring of the Dark Lord Sauron at the center of the original trilogy, as a voice says, "In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit," the first line of The Hobbit novel that creator J.R.R. Tolkien wrote. Fans asked in comments on the video blog post if the voice was that of Sir Ian Holm, who played Bilbo Baggins in the original trilogy. In response, Jackson wrote that the voice-over was by the actor currenly playing the younger version of the character, Martin Freeman, but revealed that Sir Ian will be appearing in The Hobbit as the older Bilbo.
One comment that came up from the recent video blog was the Bilbo voice at the end—many of you assumed it was Sir Ian Holm. Whilst Ian will be returning as the older Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, that recording was actually Martin Freeman's voice, taken from a script read through we recorded when the cast first arrived. I have to admit, I wasn't sure who it was when I first heard it, either.
Cheers, Peter J
The Hobbit was written—or, rather, is still being written, according to Jackson in a comment he made on Facebook on Thursday—by Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Also joining Sir Ian in reprising their LOTR roles are Sir Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf, Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, Andy Serkis as Smeagol/Gollum and Hugo Weaving as Elrond. Orlando Bloom is also expected to return as Legolas, but this has not yet been confirmed. New additions to the cast include Sylvester McCoy as the wizard Radagast, Mikael Persbrandt as the shape-shifter Beorn, Ryan Gage as Drogo Baggins, father of Frodo, and 13 actors who will play the company of dwarves that hire Bilbo to "burgle" for them from the dragon Smaug.