Peter Jackson Confirms Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit
10.22.10 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."
Jackson has fleshed out a significant part of his cast, including Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the company of dwarves that accompany Bilbo to the Lonely Mountain to take on the dragon Smaug. "Richard is one of the most exciting and dynamic actors working on screen today and we know he is going to make an amazing Thorin Oakenshield," said Jackson. "We cannot wait to start this adventure with him and feel very lucky that one of the most beloved characters in Middle Earth is in such good hands."
Jackson has also set up the rest of his dwarves cast, including Aidan Turner and Rob Kazinsky who will play dwarves Kili and Fili, along with Graham McTavish (Middle Men) as Dwalin, Mark Hadlow as Dori, and New Zealand actors John Callen, Stephen Hunter, and Peter Hambleton as Oin, Bombur, and Gloin.
James Nesbitt (Five Minutes of Heaven) and David Tennant (Dr. Who) could also possibly join the cast, though no deals are set. Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen are expected to reprise their roles as Gollum and Gandalf, respectively. Bill Nighy could perform the voice for the dragon Smaug. Stephen Fry and Saoirse Ronan could also join the cast in unspecified roles.
Where Jackson will shoot The Hobbit is in question. While New Zealand was initially the location planned for The Hobbit, issues with the New Zealand acting unions persist, with The New Zealand Herald reporting that Warner Bros. is considering alternative locations.