casting department must be a frenzy of activity now that the film’s officially been given the go-ahead. But things appear to be ticking along nicely, as nine new roles have already been cast.
Among them, Martin Freeman has been confirmed as the two-part film’s lead Bilbo Baggins. After months of speculation, he will be the one going there and back again in Peter Jackson’s LOTR prequel.
“Despite the various rumours and speculation surrounding this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us,” Jackson said in a press release.
“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.”
Not only does Jackson have a leading man, he’s also cast the Company of Dwarves, who set out to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from dragon Smaug. A slew of British actors have been enlisted for the diminutive roles.
Richard Armitage, who will also appear in Captain America: The First Avenger , will play Thorin Oakenshield, the Company’s leader. Then there’s Aidan Turner as Kili, Rob Kazinsky as Fili, Graham McTavish as Dwalin, John Callen as Oin, Stephen Hunter as Bombur, Mark Hadlow as Dori and Peter Hambleton as Gloin.
Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis are returning as Gandalf and Gollum, while Bill Nighy is now being rumoured for the voice of Smaug.