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Peter Jackson On Those Bilbo Rumours
Exclusive: No plans on casting yet

17 July 2009  |  Written by Helen O'Hara  

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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.


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Your Comments

Michael Sheen Should Play Bilbo Baggins
I had heard somewhere that michael sheen was a rumoured mr. baggins and think that would be fab! I can just imagine his little hobbit belly and hairy hobbit feet and he genuinely looks like a baggins. He is also a brilliant actor and should seriously be considered. I think mcavoy and tennant are great but they shouldn't be baggins'; maybe a took or brandybuck!!!!! More

Posted by bellhm at 15:51 on 18 October 2009 | Report This Post

Matt Horne
The guy can act and lready has a portly, homoerotic comedy sidekick to help him on his quest. More

Posted by GeneralZod at 20:31 on 21 July 2009 | Report This Post

Matt Horne
The guy can act and lready has a portly, homoerotic comedy sidekick to help him on his quest. More

Posted by GeneralZod at 20:31 on 21 July 2009 | Report This Post

Temeraire
I just read the first Temeraire book last week. Damned good fun. Excellent summer reading. Essentially it's Sharpe with dragons (or maybe Hornblower, given the naval beginnings). The tone is more adventurous and less faux-literary than "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell" by Susanna Clarke (another book that introduces fantasy elements into historical fiction). A Jackson-directed (or produced) Temeraire film would definitely be great to see. More

Posted by mammon at 12:47 on 21 July 2009 | Report This Post

Can someone tell him to make Good Omens! More

Posted by williamMurderfacebab at 18:56 on 20 July 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Tennant? Please...
I don't see McAvoy, Freeman or Tennant as Bilbo. More

Posted by Tank Boy at 00:25 on 20 July 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Tennant? Please...
I'd be happy to see James McAvoy cast as Bilbo. Although I'm a fan of David Tennant - I've been a Dr Who fan for as long as I can remember - I agree with those others who have said that he just hasn't got the right look for the part. How about Jamie Bamber? More

Posted by siegfried at 00:20 on 20 July 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Tennant? Please...
One does hope it's true as I'd love to see Neil Tennant having a go- a bit past his best perhaps but I'm sure his interpretation would be definitive. More

Posted by Troilus at 22:52 on 19 July 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Tennant? Please...
L: onyx79 If they wanted to keep the charm and looks of the LOTR characters, they should at the very least pick someone that looks like a younger version of Sir Ian Holm. No disrespect to the talented actor that is Mr Tennant, but I really believe he will not be suited to fill Bilbo's shoes as far as look is concerned.t Mr Jackson and Mr Del Toro will make an outstanding casting choice when the time is rightuote]   as McAvoy is it then yeah, they've made the correct choice. More

Posted by JIm R at 21:49 on 19 July 2009 | Report This Post

Tennant? Please...
If they wanted to keep the charm and looks of the LOTR characters, they should at the very least pick someone that looks like a younger version of Sir Ian Holm. No disrespect to the talented actor that is Mr Tennant, but I really believe he will not be suited to fill Bilbo's shoes as far as look is concerned. I trust Mr Jackson and Mr Del Toro will make an outstanding casting choice when the time is right. More

Posted by onyx79 at 13:23 on 19 July 2009 | Report This Post

TENNANT!!!
David Tennant... I like it, but he isn't stocky enough. I think Jonathan Ross would make an amazing Bilbo Baggins! More

Posted by El-Branden Brazil at 12:12 on 19 July 2009 | Report This Post

RE: decisions...
I still think Martin Freeman would be an excellent choice. He's one step away from a hobbit, even without the makeup. More

Posted by funkypsiko at 05:59 on 19 July 2009 | Report This Post

RE: decisions...
L: thepluginbaby Personally, I would say James Callis from Battlestar. ood call! More

Posted by DJ Rob C: Mark II! at 01:19 on 19 July 2009 | Report This Post

casting
Daniel Radcliffe is going to be kind of busy for the next year with the 2 Deathly Hallows films so that's kind of a non starter and it would just be too much to have the face of HP as Bilbo...and he's too young, but David Tennent.... hmmmm interesting idea he certainly has the range and he is used to playing an anti hero... but I think they will go for somone less well known More

Posted by dave1159 at 23:50 on 18 July 2009 | Report This Post

THE WHEEL OF TIME
Jackson needs to read the fabulous Wheel of Time series,he would do a brirriant job.It has the potential to be FAR BETTER than LOTR. Empire,give him a heads up please. More

Posted by danbo1138 at 18:05 on 18 July 2009 | Report This Post

If they cast radcliff
I shall not be going to see it, I mean hobbits going to be an escape from harry potter, which evidently I am not a fan of. It would be like potter in tolkien, not good at all!! Tennant please!! More

Posted by HarryHavoc at 17:40 on 18 July 2009 | Report This Post

If they cast radcliff
I shall not be going to see it, I mean hobbits going to be an escape from harry potter, which evidently I am not a fan of. It would be like potter in tolkien, not good at all!! Tennant please!! More

Posted by HarryHavoc at 17:24 on 18 July 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Exclusive: No plans on casting yet/Legal problems?
There may yet be some legal problems facing the production of the film as outlined in Latinoreview ink] More

Posted by Mr Terrific at 17:20 on 18 July 2009 | Report This Post

Exclusive: No plans on casting yet
haha brilliant More

Posted by Rumpledink at 13:33 on 18 July 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Dear Empire
Cmon people lets not focus just on Bilbo....hows about Bard, Beorn, Thorin, Smaug etc etc Beorn will blates be played by Ron Perlman, I shall eat some for of headwear if he doesn't Bard...I saw someone suggest Thomas Kretschmann, works for me. Oh and McAvoy would be best for Bilbo. More

Posted by dontcallmeshirley at 13:19 on 18 July 2009 | Report This Post

Dear Empire
"News" is just that, news. Something 'new', Something we haven't heard before that might excite, shock, and appall us. Telling us "we can confirm that Bilbo has not been cast" is rubbish news. Best to be quiet and wait for somethign to report me thinks. More

Posted by Letattz at 08:27 on 18 July 2009 | Report This Post

decisions...
I wouldn't mind seeing Tennant as Bilbo. He is a bit lanky though. I know special effects will create the illusion, but he'll surely be thin to play it. Plus the whole wide eyed eccentric he does for the Doctor probably wouldn't fit the role of a hobbit. McAvoy is a good choice, probably the most obvious. Radcliffe less so, he is harry potter after all. Martin Freeman did the Englishman out of water in hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy. Personally, I would say James Callis from Battlestar. More

Posted by thepluginbaby at 04:03 on 18 July 2009 | Report This Post

RE:
James McAvoy for Bilbo!   Dear Peter Jackson, Please make Temeraire as soon as possible. And please direct rather than take a back seat and produce.   signed, Philip Kehoe esq. More

Posted by general_potatoface at 20:38 on 17 July 2009 | Report This Post

?
james or daniel  can play bilbo but not david tennant or jack black please.they are very uncharisma .im worried why jackson dont lie rumors and what they wait say who play bilbo? More

Posted by elamela at 20:33 on 17 July 2009 | Report This Post

Please, please, please do not cast Daniel Radcliffe!
^ This. James McAvoy seems the best suggestion. More

Posted by RevolloveR at 19:47 on 17 July 2009 | Report This Post

RE:
Not if Nathan Fillion has anything to do with it! Actuilly the David Tennent thing would make sense - Steven Moffat help to write the first Tintin movie and Jackson is a confessed Dr. Who fan. Not to menton that Del Toro was in the UK last month promoting his book. I still say Martin Freeman, another actor who Jackson and Del Toro will be more than aware of. More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 19:36 on 17 July 2009 | Report This Post

Pfrt, we all know it's going to be Ryan Reynolds. More

Posted by deathbat6661 at 19:07 on 17 July 2009 | Report This Post

Past and present Jackson.
Is it just me, but does anyone else prefer Peter Jackson when he was a cuddly fatty four-eyes? Now before you all line up to jump down my Un-PC throat, it should be noted that I also wear specs and have a fairly decent spare tire round my waist. I'm also considerably cuddly. More

Posted by bradthunder at 18:37 on 17 July 2009 | Report This Post

Please, please, please do not cast Daniel Radcliffe! More

Posted by hamsolo77 at 18:34 on 17 July 2009 | Report This Post

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