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Post by BecMacFeegle on Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:33 am

Martin Freeman to play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit


The Office actor Martin Freeman will play Bilbo Baggins in two-part Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit, director Peter Jackson has announced.

He said in a statement there had "only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us".

Freeman, 39, was "intelligent, funny, surprising and brave - exactly like Bilbo", Jackson added.

Meanwhile, Jackson's wife Fran Walsh has reportedly told a radio station filming could move to the UK because of an industrial dispute in New Zealand.

Dwarves cast

Jackson said he was "incredibly proud" to be able to announce that Freeman would be the hobbit.

"There are a few times in your career when you come across an actor who you know was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin," Jackson said.

Spooks actor Richard Armitage, 39 - who has a role in the forthcoming film Captain America: The First Avenger - will play Thorin Oakenshield - leader of the dwarves. <YAY!>

Former EastEnders actor Rob Kazinsky, Sean Slater in the soap, will also play a dwarf. <dear god, no!>

He will appear alongside Irish actor Aidan Turner, who has appeared in BBC Three's Being Human, and British actor Graham McTavish, who has appeared on TV shows including Red Dwarf. <wahey!>

Other dwarves will be played by John Callen, Stephen Hunter, Mark Hadlow and Peter Hambleton.

The films are due to be released in December 2012 and December 2013.

As with the Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, the film had been due to be made in Jackson's native New Zealand.

But on Thursday, film studio Warner Bros said the ongoing pay wrangle with acting unions had "forced us to consider other filming locations for the first time".

Jackson's wife and creative partner Fran Walsh, meanwhile, reportedly told Radio New Zealand that film producers "had people in the UK taking location photographs".

"They've got a huge studio there that Harry Potter has vacated, the ex-Rolls Royce factory, that they say would be perfect for us."

Canada, Australia and the Czech Republic have also been linked with the production.

Unions representing actors and other workers urged a boycott against the $500m (£319m) production because of the dispute over contracts.

They are trying to force Jackson's production company, Wingnut Films, and Warner Bros to enter negotiations with them over the contracts deadlock.

While major unions including America's Screen Actors Guild and New Zealand Actors' Equity have retreated, smaller unions in New Zealand and Australia are continuing their boycott.

Meanwhile, non-union film workers have hit the streets in New Zealand to demand that filming stays there.

Earlier this month, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said he would be "greatly concerned" if production on Jackson's film was lost.

Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy won 17 Oscars and earned billions of dollars at box offices worldwide.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11604193
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Martin Freeman to play Bilbo Baggins  Junmem10

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Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:34 am

I'm surprised they didn't want Ian Holm for the sake of continuity but I guess with the right makeup, Freeman might look a bit like Holm.
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Post by BecMacFeegle on Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:52 am

I didn't like Ian Holm as Bilbo actually, not sure how I feel about Martin Freeman though. And come to think of it - Richard Armitage as a dwarf?!
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Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:37 am

lol. Lucas Black as a dwarf doesn't quite cut it for me.
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Post by Guest on Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:44 pm

None of those cast as dwarves seem right. Filming in locations other then NZ because of union issues don't fill me with much confidence. That and rumors that McKellan was close to quitting. Nearly every bit of news that has come out of this production isn't making me want to see it, if it ever comes out.

Oh, and did I mention it would be filmed in 3D: http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/Movies/2010/10/19/Hobbit-films-to-be-released-in-3D/UPI-34331287538434/

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Post by BecMacFeegle on Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:16 am

I guess the dwarves are all a bit...sexy...and dwarf has never = sexy in my mind.

The Hobbit film has been a mess ever since they decided to do it. PJ was directing...then he wasn't, then Guillermo quit...so then he was again. And as New Line went bust - still pissed about that, heartbreakingly gutted - so it's Warner Bros. production and that just seems so wrong. And most of the cast are still unconfirmed - and that includes Sylvester bloody McCoy as Radagast. And I'm not sure about Martin Freeman.

McKellen really gets on my nerves sometimes - I will never forgive New Line for shoe-horning him into The Golden Compass - and all he did was ham it up. Dear god, when that man decides to ham, you can smell the bacon. But no one else can play Gandalf, he was perfect. Still, as far as I'm aware, his only comment on it was that if filming were delayed too long he wouldn't be able to play Gandalf - which I took as being a more tongue in cheek comment about his age and the frequent ridiculous delays.

I will see it. Even if I didn't want to - I would have to see it. And I'm not so bothered about it being filmed in 3D - I don't have a problem with that, only with films that attempt to slap 3D on afterwards and make them look ugly and cheap - like Clash of the Titans.
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Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:20 am

A little concerning isn't it? I would have preferred Guillermo Del Toro to have been director only in absence of PJ.

I guess we will have no choice but to see it, no matter how concerned we might be about casting?

But then again I remember a certain someone saying "Elijah Wood as Frodo?!?!?!? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and "Ian McKellen as Gandalf?!?!?!? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Remind you of anybody? Very Happy
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Post by BecMacFeegle on Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:52 am

All right, all right, so I was wrong about Elijah. BUT just a second there - I never complained about McKellen as Gandalf - as I remember I was going through a post Magneto love fest at that time.
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Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:56 am

I thought you didn't want him to be Gandalf and looked aghast at the promo pic of him? My mistake.

I was concerned at Elijah Wood, at the time I put him as another annoying child actor like McCauley Culkin but Wood was great and a really nice guy too (we met him at Collectormania a couple of years ago).
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Post by BecMacFeegle on Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:10 am

(we met him at Collectormania a couple of years ago).

Why are you telling me? ... I was there! And we saw him chatting to Kenny Baker, and asking him for a pic and his autograph, which was a classic moment I think.

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Post by The_Amber_Spyglass on Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:11 am

I thought you might have forgotten :p
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