It was announced today that an actor has officially been cast as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's upcoming two-part screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit. Martin Freeman, an actor perhaps best known for his character in the original British version of The Office, will be playing the role of Middle Earth's most famous hobbit.
The long-awaited, much-delayed, hotly-anticipated-by-nerds-everywhere movie is scheduled to begin filming in February, although union troubles may force production from New Zealand (where the first three Rings movies were shot) to another location—the potential front-runners being England, Canada, and Australia. The two Hobbit films are due to be released in December 2012 and December 2013.
Director Peter Jackson said he was "incredibly proud" to be able to announce that Freeman would be joining the cast, saying,
Despite the various rumors and speculation surrounding this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us. 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.
I think Freeman's a great choice for the movie, personally. If you aren't familiar with his work, check him out in this scene from the second season finale of The Office:
I love Jim from the American version of The Office, but how great is Freeman here? I love his heartbreaking little "she said no by the way" at the end.
What do you think about Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins?
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