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"We've Agreed On Our Choice For Bilbo"
More Hobbit talk from Del Toro

27 May 2008  |  Written by Olly Richards  |  Source: wetanz.com

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Over the weekend, Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson gave a live webchat at WETAHolics to answer some fan questions about their upcoming version of The Hobbit, and a currently mysterious sequel. We also spoke to Del Toro recently and he expanded on a few of the points that were discussed in the web chat. We'll come to that in a minute, but first the highlights of the webchat. If you want to read the full thing, you can find it at wetanz.com here. The webchat revealed:

– The film will mainly be shot on real sets, not green screen, and will likely all take place in New Zealand
– Ian Holm will likely have some part in the film, since he played Bilbo in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit follows his adventures in his younger days.
– Howard Shore will return for scoring duties.
– Pre-production will take place throughout 2009, with back-to-back shooting to begin in 2010. Both films will be, according to Jackson, "intense PG-13".
– The second film will not cover the full 60-year period between Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring, but pick a key period from that time.
Lord of the Rings is coming to Blu-ray (Yay!), but not this year (Boo)

As part of an exclusive chat with Del Toro for the next issue of Empire, on sale Friday, we spoke to him further about many details, including the casting of Bilbo.

"We are writing based on [Ian Holm's performance], but other than that, we have ideas [of who could play him]," Del Toro told us. "I can tell you that it's down to a few names that we all agree upon. And that our first choice...completely, magically, we said the same name. All of us!" Obviously the script is yet to be written by Jackson, Del Toro and Philippa Boyens, so there won't be a name attached to this for some time (despite poking with sticks Del Toro was mum on the identity of the actor, who probably doesn't know he's in the frame yet). Del Toro says we can expect "at least a year before we announce any casting". So, while they have a name in mind, you can count any forthcoming rumours as false, at least until the script is written.

For lots more from Del Toro on all things Hobbit, including the creation of Smaug and the possibility of beloved Rings characters returning, pick up the next issue of Empire this Friday. You can see a preview of the issue here.

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Your Comments

With all due respect to Mr. Holmes (and with myself being an old timer and all) Ian Holmes is just a bit long in the tooth to be playing the LEAD ROLE in a PG 13 type movie, CGI wrinkle removal or not. They will give the kids someone they can relate to. Personally, if it were for me to choose, I think Gary Oldman would be the ideal face to fill the roll as he is a character actor of amazing capabilities, quite a bit along the lines of Mr. Holmes himself. But, he's just a bit older himself. More

Posted by Spidermobile at 06:13 on 20 July 2008 | Report This Post

With all due respect to Mr. Holmes (and with myself being an old timer and all) Ian Holmes is just a bit long in the tooth to be playing the LEAD ROLE in a PG 13 type movie, CGI wrinkle removal or not. They will give the kids someone they can relate to. Personally, if it were for me to choose, I think Gary Oldman would be the ideal face to fill the roll as he is a character actor of amazing capabilities, quite a bit along the lines of Mr. Holmes himself. But, he's just a bit older himself. More

Posted by Spidermobile at 06:12 on 20 July 2008 | Report This Post

Not ? Holmes ?
With all due respect to Mr. Holmes (and with myself being an old timer and all) Ian Holmes is just a bit long in the tooth to be playing the LEAD ROLE in a PG 13 type movie, CGI wrinkle removal or not. They will give the kids someone they can relate to. Personally, if it were for me to choose, I think Gary Oldman would be the ideal face to fill the roll as he is a character actor of amazing capabilities, quite a bit along the lines of Mr. Holmes himself. But, he's just a bit older himself. More

Posted by Spidermobile at 06:10 on 20 July 2008 | Report This Post

With all due respect to Mr. Holmes (and with myself being an old timer and all) Ian Holmes is just a bit long in the tooth to be playing the LEAD ROLE in a PG 13 type movie, CGI wrinkle removal or not. They will give the kids someone they can relate to. Personally, if it were for me to choose, I think Gary Oldman would be the ideal face to fill the roll as he is a character actor of amazing capabilities, quite a bit along the lines of Mr. Holmes himself. But, he's just a bit older himself. More

Posted by Spidermobile at 04:38 on 20 July 2008 | Report This Post

Can't be Holmes
With all due respect to Mr. Holmes (and with myself being an old timer and all) Ian Holmes is just a bit long in the tooth to be playing the LEAD ROLE in a PG 13 type movie, CGI wrinkle removal or not. They will give the kids someone they can relate to. Personally, if it were for me to choose, I think Gary Oldman would be the ideal face to fill the roll as he is a character actor of amazing capabilities, quite a bit along the lines of Mr. Holmes himself. But, he's just a bit older himself. More

Posted by Spidermobile at 04:37 on 20 July 2008 | Report This Post

Can't be Holmes
With all due respect to Mr. Holmes (and with myself being an old timer and all) Ian Holmes is just a bit long in the tooth to be playing the LEAD ROLE in a PG 13 type movie, CGI wrinkle removal or not. They will give the kids someone they can relate to. Personally, if it were for me to choose, I think Gary Oldman would be the ideal face to fill the roll as he is a character actor of amazing capabilities, quite a bit along the lines of Mr. Holmes himself. But, he's just a bit older himself. More

Posted by Spidermobile at 04:37 on 20 July 2008 | Report This Post

Can't be Holmes
With all due respect to Mr. Holmes (and with myself being an old timer and all) Ian Holmes is just a bit long in the tooth to be playing the LEAD ROLE in a PG 13 type movie, CGI wrinkle removal or not. They will give the kids someone they can relate to. Personally, if it were for me to choose, I think Gary Oldman would be the ideal face to fill the roll as he is a character actor of amazing capabilities, quite a bit along the lines of Mr. Holmes himself. But, he's just a bit older himself. More

Posted by Spidermobile at 04:36 on 20 July 2008 | Report This Post

Has to be Holmes
Hey jomo999 in FOTR Bilbo was 111 years old and that was old for a hobbit. How do you think he got to be that old and looking as young as he did? I got an answer for ya, the ring slowed the ageing process. Thier life span is close to humans. Remember in FOTR when Bilbos relitives were banging on the door and Bilbo said that his relitives have not forgave him for living so long. So if 111 years old is not old for a Hobbit why would Bilbo say that? Gollum had the ring for 500 years and his natura More

Posted by tuffluck at 22:39 on 04 June 2008 | Report This Post

Er...firstly to all the people who claim James McEvoy is too youngto play Bilbo - Frodo is 50 years old in FOTR and Elijah Wood certainly doesn't look like a 50yr old man, but a 50 year old hobbit would look relatively young, they have a longer life span. Second, I think McEvoy would be perfect for the role, he is a terrific actor and would really suit the part. If anything, Holmes is too OLD to reprise the role. More

Posted by jomo999 at 20:26 on 04 June 2008 | Report This Post

JAMES MCAVOY IS DEAD!!!!...
...TO ME AS A CHOICE FOR THE HOBBIT. Anyone who has a brain in their head, and has actually read the Hobbit, knows that James McAvoy would be a terrible choice for the Hobbit and the beautiful continuity of the storyline. James McAvoy does NOT look to be in his 50s at all, and he does not have the trademark stature and quirkiness about him that Ian Holms or Toby Jones have inherent, without Makeup. If I hear another James McAvoy recommendation for the Hobbit, I’m going to puke!! Grow up pe More

Posted by Movie Guy at 07:40 on 04 June 2008 | Report This Post

WE FOUND THE HOBBIT
Tobey Jones would be AWESOME!! He has a humorous quirky look (as is needed in a successful Bilbo), is the right age and size, does not have the anxiety of dying during the shoot attached to him, and is a quality actor to boot! Toby Jones is a photo finish next to Ian Holms. More

Posted by Movie Guy at 03:30 on 02 June 2008 | Report This Post

WE FOUND THE HOBBIT!!!!!
Tobey Jones would be AWESOME!! He has a humorous quirky look (as is needed in a successful Bilbo), is the right age and size, does not have the anxiety of dying during the shoot attached to him, and is a quality actor to boot! Toby Jones is a photo finish next to Ian Holms. More

Posted by Movie Guy at 03:22 on 02 June 2008 | Report This Post

WE FOUND THE HOBBIT!!!!!
Tobey Jones would be AWESOME!! He has a humorous quirky look (as is needed in a successful Bilbo), is the right age and size, does not have the anxiety of dying during the shoot attached to him, and is a quality actor to boot! Toby Jones is a photo finish next to Ian Holms. More

Posted by Movie Guy at 03:21 on 02 June 2008 | Report This Post

Has to be Holmes
Why does everyone think Mcavoy should play Bilbo in the up coming movies? He looks nothing like Bilbo and I dont see him pulling it off. Holms mannerisms and character will be a difficult task for any actor and then throw someone who doesnt look the part into it doesnt make sense to me.Yes they may not age like us but the way that the LOTR was portraied they do. If Bilbo was 111 and that was really old for a hobbit and that when Gandalf seen him and said "you havent aged a day" that sa More

Posted by tuffluck at 22:41 on 30 May 2008 | Report This Post

Has to be Holmes
Why does everyone think Mcavoy should play Bilbo in the up coming movies? He looks nothing like Bilbo and I dont see him pulling it off. Holms mannerisms and character will be a difficult task for any actor and then throw someone who doesnt look the part into it doesnt make sense to me.Yes they may not age like us but the way that the LOTR was portraied they do. If Bilbo was 111 and that was really old for a hobbit and that when Gandalf seen him and said "you havent aged a day" that sa More

Posted by tuffluck at 22:41 on 30 May 2008 | Report This Post

Has to be Holmes
Why does everyone think Mcavoy should play Bilbo in the up coming movies? He looks nothing like Bilbo and I dont see him pulling it off. Holms mannerisms and character will be a difficult task for any actor and then throw someone who doesnt look the part into it doesnt make sense to me.Yes they may not age like us but the way that the LOTR was portraied they do. If Bilbo was 111 and that was really old for a hobbit and that when Gandalf seen him and said "you havent aged a day" that sa More

Posted by tuffluck at 22:41 on 30 May 2008 | Report This Post

Has to be Holmes
Why does everyone think Mcavoy should play Bilbo in the up coming movies? He looks nothing like Bilbo and I dont see him pulling it off. Holms mannerisms and character will be a difficult task for any actor and then throw someone who doesnt look the part into it doesnt make sense to me.Yes they may not age like us but the way that the LOTR was portraied they do. If Bilbo was 111 and that was really old for a hobbit and that when Gandalf seen him and said "you havent aged a day" that sa More

Posted by tuffluck at 22:41 on 30 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Has to be Holmes
Hey Tuffluck - remember, in Middle-earth, hobbits don't age like us anyway, and Frodo was also 50 when he left the Shire in FOTR, portrayed by a then 18 yr old Elijah Wood!  Having someone like McAvoy would be in keeping with the logic and the family resmblance so to speak, but you can bet your life that Ian Holm will crop up in F2! More

Posted by Halfling at 13:51 on 30 May 2008 | Report This Post

Has to be Holmes
In FOTR Bilbo is 111 years old and he has had the ring in his possession for 60 years and if you do the math that would make him 51 years old when he found the ring. So if you put someone in the roll who was in thier 20's or even 30's then they would be to young to play the part. I think it would be a mistake to put anyone else in his spot. Ian holmes is Bilbo and no one can replace him. More

Posted by tuffluck at 04:24 on 30 May 2008 | Report This Post

Has to be Holmes
In FOTR B More

Posted by tuffluck at 04:20 on 30 May 2008 | Report This Post

Has to be Holmes
In FOTR B More

Posted by tuffluck at 04:20 on 30 May 2008 | Report This Post

What's wrong with Holm?
Ian Holm was Bilbo in LOTR, what's wrong with him playing the character again? The books say Bilbo is middle aged when he goes on his adventure; Holm played him as middle aged when he found the ring. The ring slowed his ageing so that he didn't look much older on his 111th birthday party. If he turns up in The Hobbit looking in his 20s or 30s it will completely undermine the first films and the established power of the ring. More

Posted by Dartfordian at 22:34 on 29 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Ginger Bilbo!!
It's bad enough these guys are inflicting the Hobbit on the world anyway, but to have a ginger (Rupert Grint) Bilbo would probably bring about the end of the world. I really hope James McAvoy doesn't do this film. More

Posted by missphoenix at 12:46 on 29 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: There and back again
i bet he is going to make ron perlman beorn (spl?).  bet ya!    i dont think he is right for it so i hope im wrong.   he would be good for smaug though.   or one of the trolls! More

Posted by boove at 17:44 on 28 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: There and back again
L: wombathog ...or Ron Perlman (as Del Toro will have to put him in there somewhere sp; Guillermo did mention Ron Perlman in the chat.   "4:18 pm: What are the chances Ron Perlman will be voicing Smog? GDT: At this time the voice of Smaug is down to a very few choices in my head and I have a completely specific one, Ron has a good chance but I have other plans for RP…"   He'll be therep;     More

Posted by livila at 16:10 on 28 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: There and back again
I'm surprised no-one's mentioned Simon Pegg...or Ron Perlman (as Del Toro will have to put him in there somewhere bsp; I also think Toby Jones is a good choice. More

Posted by wombathog at 12:07 on 28 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: There and back again
L: deaksey Oh yes, and Daniel Radcliffe as 'young' Bilbo with Ian Holm doing flashbacks and voiceoversre you kidding? The only Harry Potter kid who should ever be in any other film is Rupert Grint. Daniel Radcliffe would single handedly destroy this film. I second Toby Jones. More

Posted by hit_or_miss_me at 11:40 on 28 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: How about...
L: KlausKinski Gary Busey..? ...or Vic Armstrong? More

Posted by Acho at 10:32 on 28 May 2008 | Report This Post

Or......
If I may be so bold as to toss another name into the ring (!) that I sw posted on another site - Toby Jones??? More

Posted by Halfling at 09:36 on 28 May 2008 | Report This Post

There and back again
Some quick thoughts: the two films will cover the time period from when the 5 wizards arrived in Middle Earth (intro bit using Galadriel or Elrond for voice over) to combat Sauron's growing threat to the end of the book appendices bits of ROTK book that covers Aragorn's long life and how he was formerly known as Thorongil in Minas Tirith (that's how Denethor knows who Aragorn is in ROTK film). We'l see more from the White Council (expect Saruman, Galadriel & Celeborn to reprise their roles) More

Posted by deaksey at 03:55 on 28 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: It's Jack Black
L: Fuchsia29 Justify casting McAvoy? :D Sorry, I honestly don't know a proper reason! He was just the first name that popped into my head BEFORE I'd even read this thread - how are so many of us thinking along the same lines? There must be some strange gut feeling going on there. I think it's partially because people saw Mr Tumnus and...Bilbo's somewhat similar personality-wise. Plus he looks like a bloody hobbit anyway. The makeup department will save a fortune. I More

Posted by roosell at 22:31 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: How about...
L: KlausKinski Gary Busey..? sp; Rather see him as Smaug. They wouldn't even need a dragon. Just sit him on the pile of gold.   Asd for Bilbo - I was imagined a fairly plump 30 year old in the role. McAvoy is just a little too "Hollywood", and I still say his best role has been playing Leto II in Childern of Dune.   Throw me in with the Freeman camp. More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 18:57 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

How about...
Gary Busey..? More

Posted by KlausKinski at 18:51 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: It's Jack Black
Justify casting McAvoy?   :D Sorry, I honestly don't know a proper reason! He was just the first name that popped into my head BEFORE I'd even read this thread - how are so many of us thinking along the same lines? There must be some strange gut feeling going on there. I think it's partially because people saw Mr Tumnus and...Bilbo's somewhat similar personality-wise. Plus he looks like a bloody hobbit anyway. The makeup department will save a fortune.     I More

Posted by Fuchsia29 at 18:47 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

It's Jack Black
Bet ya' money! More

Posted by geoffj981 at 17:54 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

It's Jack Black
Bet ya' money! More

Posted by geoffj981 at 17:51 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: It has to be Holm
I’m going to have to agree to differ then. More

Posted by d0m_l at 16:26 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: It has to be Holm
I have to disagree with you d0m_I, no matter what effect they use to camoflage Ian Holm as a younger man, the viewers will still know who he is.   I understand your need for perfect continuity in the movies but having an old man play someone in his twenties will turn the hobbit into an unwatchable farce as I'm sure Sir Holm will agree.   James McAvoy does seem like a workable solution to this though. More

Posted by danielcraft at 16:08 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: It has to be Holm
I’m not suggesting they try to make him look like he’s in his 20s. Have him look as he does (or as close to as possible) in the Fellowship prologue. More

Posted by d0m_l at 16:00 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

Please no McAvoy!
I can't stand him, Martin Freeman looks a bit hobbit-esque but I can't really picture him in middle earth. Personally i'd rather see Paul Dano in the role or maybe Wesley Snipes... More

Posted by KlausKinski at 15:52 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: It has to be Holm
Why would you need to recast Lee? Are you assuming the mans popping his clogs soon? Anyway I imagine if he were to go the way of the Dodo they would just write around the character and not have him appear, which is something they mentioned in the webchat.   I think its very unlikely that Holm will return as Bilbo, his age and physicality make it too unrealistic and I'm sure you would rather have an actor that would better reflect the age than an old man trying to play a 20 something! More

Posted by Scabby at 15:35 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

People are forgetting at the end of The Hobbit, Gandalf and Balin (he who led the ill-fated expedition to Moria) visit Bilbo many years after the story. This scene can be used for Ian Holm's cameo, while a younger actor portrays Bilbo during most of the film. More

Posted by doctorolorinbats1975 at 15:34 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: It has to be Holm
Must admit, that line of dialogue came to me earlier, but going down the SW comparison route - no-one had a problem with McGregor and Sir Alec, though I realise (before you all start shouting!) that there wasn't a flashback scene to be considered.  Also, on the subject of McAvoy & Jackson productions, has anyone heard anymore regarding The Dambusters, as I'm sure I heard that he was up for the role of Guy Gibson??  Would he really do both??  On a similar note, Sarum More

Posted by Halfling at 15:15 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

James McAvoy would be my #1 choice too.
Bad idea! He's already played Mr Tumnus in Narnia. the less we see of him in fantasy land the better! More

Posted by pete_traynor at 15:06 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

Holm Sweet Holm
They have stated that they want continuity over the course of the 5 films so surely it has to be Holm. Not only was he great as Bilbo, Jackson has shown the audience what Bilbo looks like at the time of the Hobbit in the opening of Fellowship. And he looked a lot like Ian Holm. More

Posted by pete_traynor at 15:02 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

Holm Sweet Holm
They have stated that they want continuity over the course of the 5 films so surely it has to be Holm. Not only was he great as Bilbo, Jackson has shown the audience what Bilbo looks like at the time of the Hobbit in the opening of Fellowship. And he looked a lot like Ian Holm. More

Posted by pete_traynor at 15:01 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: It has to be Holm
If I were Jackson, if a different actor was to take on the role I’d go back and re-edit the opening of Fellowship for the 10 year anniversary to include the change. More

Posted by d0m_l at 14:38 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: It has to be Holm
Personally it wouldn’t be an issue for me. I’d still prefer to see the same actor in the role. More

Posted by d0m_l at 14:34 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: It has to be Holm
Do you think there is any possibility that Young Bilbo's scene in Fellowship will be edited ala Star Wars to have whoever plays Bilbo in the Hobbit appear in Fellowship? More

Posted by Dan Hughes at 14:32 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

RE: It has to be Holm
Well think that they filmed FOTR in about 1999/2000 and how much Holm would have aged since then. I don't think he should come back , his voice will be too old and strained and it would just seem stupid putting an old man in young makeup. If you look at FOTR they even used dark lighting to cover his age and some little bits of CG, during the full course of a film which is in daylight it just wouldn't work. I think your being unrealistic if you think it will be him coming back. It has to be Jame More

Posted by Scabby at 14:25 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

It has to be Holm
I see no reason why Ian Holm shouldn’t be the outright choice. More

Posted by d0m_l at 14:21 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

It has to be Holm
Personally I see no reason why Ian Holm shouldn’t be the outright choice. More

Posted by d0m_l at 14:20 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

It has to be Holm
Personally I see no reason why Ian Holm shouldn’t be the outright choice. More

Posted by d0m_l at 14:19 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

It has to be Holm
Personally I see no reason why Ian Holm shouldn’t be the outright choice. More

Posted by d0m_l at 14:15 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

Jeff!
Charlie Cox or James McAvoy would be good. Or I could really see Richard Coyle in this role, especially if he had his curly hair a'la Jeff in Coupling! More

Posted by hit_or_miss_me at 13:48 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

maybe....ben whishaw, matthew goode.....or sam riley???? More

Posted by jimibadboi7 at 13:47 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

No brainer
James McAvoy, James McAvoy, James McAvoy, and one more time, James McAvoy. He will blend perfectly into Ian Holm, who can be brought into the latter stages of F2, and he also has the Baggins family blue eyes - though not quite so big as Elijah, but then, does anyone??!! My only wish is that F2 centres on the Aragorn/Gandalf friendship and fleshes out the back story of Aragorn and Arwen, so other then me getting a little vocal about J McAvoy....Viggo, Viggo, VIGGO!!! More

Posted by Halfling at 13:42 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

James McAvoy was the first person i thought of as well!!!! maybe even Ewan Mcgregor...if they wanted to cast a bit older.... More

Posted by jimibadboi7 at 13:39 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

Fuckin creepy.
Before I read all the above comments from the other forum members I thought Martin Freeman aswell....spooky. Although James McAvoy would be a great choice too. More

Posted by tallaght24 at 13:39 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

James McAvoy for Bilbo
James McAvoy would be my #1 choice too. More

Posted by griet at 13:36 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

Please not Martin Freeman - he looks...hmm, slightly Hobbit-like - but I don't think I could bare to see Tim from The Office with pointy ears and furry feet. More

Posted by JohnnyBGoode at 13:31 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

Bilbo?
James McAvoy or Martin Freeman ? More

Posted by take1 at 13:15 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

LOTR on blu ray? yeah when the Hobbit comes out at the cinema. And no doubt once The Hobbit comes out for home release we'll get another LOTR release. Still haven't bought the films on DVD and i don't intend to purtchase them anytime soon till i'm sure they aren't going to pull more 'previously unseen footage' More

Posted by clarkkent at 13:06 on 27 May 2008 | Report This Post

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