Peter Jackson On Those Bilbo Rumours

Exclusive: No plans on casting yet

It's being rumoured here and here that the casting of Bilbo Baggins for The Hobbit may be announced at Comic-Con next week. Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy and David Tennant are all rumoured to be in the running for the role - but according to what Peter Jackson told us when we spoke to him recently, the fans shouldn't be holding their breath for a 'Con announcement.

"No, we won’t be announcing Bilbo for a little while," he said when we asked about a Comic-Con announcement. "We’re starting to think about casting, but we’re knee-deep in the script right now. And when we do go to actors, they’re probably going to ask to see a script, so we’re powering ahead with getting the first draft done.”

We also asked him what he's planning to do next after The Lovely Bones, but he's not yet sure. "I haven’t yet decided what I’ll be directing after that. At the moment we’re concentrating on writing a couple of little movies with Guillermo [Del Toro]. A couple of small films! (Laughs) And that’s going to take us another few months of writing to do.

"But we are developing a couple of projects which are potentially films that I’d direct for next year. Temeraire is still on the cards. But those are really taking a second place at the moment..."

Temeraire, of course, is his mooted adaptation of Naomi Novik's fantasy-lit saga, in which French and English forces wage the Napoleonic wars with enormous battle-dragons. A heady blend of sea battles and bloody big monsters, we reckon it would be a perfect fit for the Lord Of The Rings director.

For more from Peter Jackson — on District 9, his thoughts on Temeraire and why he and Del Toro are currently obsessed with pixellated zombie Nazis — pick up the next issue of Empire, on sale July 30.