Martin Freeman Still Up For Bilbo Baggins in ‘The Hobbit’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:30 pm,

Yesterday, The Sun reported that Martin Freeman (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) had unfortunately turned down a seven-figure deal for the lead role as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit due to a previous commitment to the BBC series, Sherlock. Every Hobbit fan everywhere even vaguely familiar with Martin Freeman’s work immediately crumpled into a ball on the floor and cried themselves to sleep, myself included.

Thankfully, we can all stop weeping—at least for now. Because according to Entertainment Weekly and a source close to The Hobbit production, New Line, MGM, and Peter Jackson are all so hell-bent on landing Martin Freeman in the titular role that they’ve come back to him with a revised schedule that would allow the comedic actor to play both Dr. Watson and Bilbo Baggins. Score one for the good guys.

This is the rare sort of film news that gives a J.R.R. Tolkien fan hope. Not only does Martin Freeman look enough like Ian Holm, the previous actor to play the lovable Bilbo Baggins, but he also looks and acts almost exactly as one would picture Bilbo himself. Freeman is slightly pudgy, semi-short, dryly funny, incredibly likable, and he’s proven himself to play the lovable loser perfectly (U.K. The Office, Love Actually).

If that’s not Bilbo Baggins, I don’t know what is.

This is the second bit of news to drop regarding The Hobbit casting in the past few weeks, much to my delight. Previously, Sylvester McCoy let slip that he was up for a wizard role, likely that of Radagast the Brown. All of this indicates that despite MGM’s financial troubles and the loss of Guillermo del Toro as a director, things are moving forward with the fantasy film project. Seriously, everybody, stop weeping. We might actually truly for serious this time be getting a big-screen, live-action version of The Hobbit.

MGM, New Line, and Freeman’s people are currently negotiating a deal. If a deal is struck, could this be the definitive news Peter Jackson promised us as of last month? When we know something, rest assured, so will you.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

TAGS: The hobbit
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  1. Too cool.

  2. I love him! I think he’s an awesome choice for this role.

  3. Not true.

    • What’s…not true?

  4. i’d rather here news of Jackson directing this himself more than anything else, enough of the red tape

  5. Well, this is certainly neat. Haven’t heard from Freeman since Hitchhiker’s Guide. It’ll be nice to have him return.

  6. This is another one of those fantastical adventures which calls for the Co-Creator relationship between director and cast which leaves me saying… ‘Hmmm… let me just keep my mouth shut and wait for the adventure to begin!’ The Harry Potter Series has spellbound me in the same way.

    Not to confuse the Hitchcock in this dialogue persay but developing a good mystery or fantasy calls for out of the box and ball in hand methods which is best left to the processes of production once choices are made regarding the qualities and tonalities of character and pitch. I cant wait to see this film reflect the nuances of the novel. I honestly hold no place for disappointment when all these good elements allow a creative players to step up and work closely within a sound agreement of cinematography, invention, and production relations!

  7. YAY for ARTHUR DENT!! I loved him in Hitchhiker’s Guide (even though it didn’t do well) I think he did an awsome job as Arthur! Also really liked his bit part in Hot Fuzz. Hope everything falls into place so we don’t have to panic.

  8. Awesome! Freeman was always my first choice for the role, this is fantastic news!

  9. I would love for Martin Freeman to land that role, but I hate to set myself up for disappointment. Seems like this whole project is a bit shaky, unfortunately. *sighs*

  10. Awesomely great news. Thanks for the post Ben!


    • You’re welcome!