Friday, October 22, 2010

Separated at Birth? Martin Freeman and Bilbo Baggins

Posted By on Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM

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I kinda thought that Atonement's James McAvoy would get the nod, but instead Peter Jackson has cast Martin Freeman to play Bilbo Baggins, the title character in The Hobbit. Freeman starred as Arthur Dent in the ill-received big-screen version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but is probably best known for playing Tim (you know, the Jon Krasinski role) on the original BBC version of "The Office." I'm particularly struck by how much Freeman looks like Bilbo in the 1977 Rankin-Bass animated version of The Hobbit (who was voiced by Orson Bean).

After production delays and financial wrangling dragged on so long that original director Guillermo Del Toro left the project, The Hobbit finally received the greenlight on Oct. 15. Conceived as a two-film prequel to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is scheduled to begin photography in February. Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis are expected to reprise their roles as Gandalf and Gollum, and other actors have also been announced. I like The AV Club's take:

Freeman's casting leads the way for a host of people familiar primarily to those who watch British television, including "Spooks/MI-5" star Richard Armitage as dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield and "Being Human’s" Aidan Turner and "EastEnders’" Rob Kazinsky as Thorin’s fellow dwarves. Other confirmed cast: Secretariat’s Graham McTavish as Dwalin, All Saints’ Stephen Hunter as Bombur, King Kong’s Mark Hadlow as Dori, The Strip’s Peter Hambleton as Gloin, and Oin will be played by John Callen, who starred in something called "Power Rangers Jungle Fury" that we were pretty sure was made up until Google confirmed its existence. There have been 32 episodes of it and everything.

How long until someone makes a montage of Freeman set to the following song?

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