Two chunks of Hobbit new broke across the Easter weekend, with something to gladden the heart of those who were hoping that Ian Holm would definitely be back for the new film and some bad news for anyone anticipating Rob Kazinsky’s work as Fili the Dwarf.
Let’s start with the good news, shall we? As has generally been assumed, though never officially confirmed, Ian Holm will indeed play the older version of Bilbo in what we can only assume will be a framing device for the story. Peter Jackson commented on his Facebook page that though some people had assumed they’d heard Holm in the recent video he posted, it was in fact Martin Freeman, who sounds so convincingly like Holm’s Bilbo that even Jackson wasn’t sure what he’d heard:
"One comment that came up from the recent video blog was the Bilbo voice at the end—many of you assumed it was Sir Ian Holm. Whilst Ian will be returning as the older Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, that recording was actually Martin Freeman's voice, taken from a script read through we recorded when the cast first arrived. I have to admit, I wasn't sure who it was when I first heard it, either.”
As for the Kazinsky situation, Jackson broke the news on Sunday: ”I am sad to report that Rob Kazinsky, who was cast in the role of Fili, is having to leave The Hobbit and return home, for personal reasons. Rob has been terrific to work with and his enthusiasm and infectious sense of humour will be missed by all of us. I should say that Rob's departure will not affect ongoing filming of The Hobbit, nor will it impact work done to date, as we had yet to film much of Fili's storyline. At the moment we are shooting scenes featuring Bilbo without the Dwarves, which will give us time to find a new Fili.”
We’re sorry to see Kazinsky go, especially as he seems to really have made some good friends on set, and the opportunity to work on the film definitely qualifies as one of those “once in a lifetime” gigs. Well, unless you’re Ian Holm. Or Ian McKellen. Or Andy Serkis. Or…