Yes, yes, we know casting rumours around The Hobbit have been circling ever since the film was announced. Before, in fact. But now that Peter Jackson finally has the go-ahead to properly make the two films, the hornet’s nest of casting buzz has built into a furious roar, with names ranging from ones we’ve heard before (Martin Freeman, David Tennant) to more surprising choices (James Nesbitt, Michael Fassbender) bandied about.
Deadline is reporting that Freeman might finally be able to put the “will-he-won’t-he” stories behind him and win the crucial central role of Bilbo Baggins. It has yet to be officially announced, but given that language such as “he’s set to take the role” is being used, we wouldn’t expect to wait long before we find out they’ve made it work between the movie’s schedule and his commitment to the Beeb’s Sherlock and he’ll be being fitted for hairy feet make-up before he knows it.
Also looking likely is James Nesbitt, who, according to Pajiba’s Twitter feed, has already being offered a role – that of Bofur, one of the three dwarfs who accompany Bilbo on his quest.
Back in the realms of the rumour-mongers, David Tennant, who has been linked with the Bilbo role before, is apparently being considered for an unnamed part, a move that would give a massive boost to his career, post-Doctor Who. And Fassbender’s name falls into the same category – he’s apparently on Jackson’s list to consider for a job. Given his performances in the likes of Hunger, Fish Tank and Inglourious Basterds, he’d surely be an asset.
And though the press release about the films’ greenlight didn’t including casting info, Ian McKellen has been on standby for months (there really is no one else for Gandalf) and Andy Serkis would almost certainly be summoned back for Gollum and any other performance capture work that needs doing.
Finally, is it too much to ask that Ron Perlman still voice Smaug? Go on, PJ… You know you want to.