June 24, 2019

Martin Freeman to play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit movies

Martin Freeman trading in Marvin the Robot for Middle Earth.

Warner Brothers have announced that Martin Freeman, star of The Office and the Hitchikers guide to the Galaxy will play the part of Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming Lord of the Rings pre-quel The Hobbit.

Sir Peter Jackson said that “Despite the various rumours and speculation surrounding this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us. 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. He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave – exactly like Bilbo and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit.”

Despite the issue still raging of where The Hobbit is to be filmed, it is encouraging for Tolkein fans that there is now a ‘face’ associated with the lead role. Freeman made his name in The Office and was excellent in Hitchikers Guide. There is certain to be widespread enthusiasm for him taking up the role of Bilbo Baggin’s.

Rings fans will be getting a bit tired though of the brinkmanship being undertaken by Warner Bros over the location of the shoot. It is extremely unlikely that the production will get pulled from New Zealand given the success of the previous Middle-Earth films with Kiwi scenery and Jackson’s base being there.

There has already been considerable investment in the project in New Zealand. It seems bizarre that Warners would shift this to a third world country where they will only be exchanging one set of problems for another.

The Hobbit movies are scheduled for realease in December 2012 and December 2013.