Deadline is reporting that Peter Jackson has begun to decide on the actors he’s interested in for The Hobbit.
Deadine reports that it has been confirmed that actor Martin Freeman will be playing Bilbo Baggins, “the adventurous Hobbit whose adventures and discovery of the One Ring leads the story up to The Lord of the Rings. Freeman has appeared in films ranging from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Hot Fuzz to Love Actually.”
Richard Armitage from MI-5 and Captain America: The First Avenger will play Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the dwarves who join Bilbo.
“Despite the various rumours and speculation surround this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us,” Peter Jackson said. “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.
“Richard is one of the most exciting and dynamic actors working on screen today and we know he is going to make an amazing Thorin Oakenshield. We cannot wait to start this adventure with him and feel very lucky that one of the most beloved characters in Middle Earth is in such good hands.”
Aidan Turner (the vampire Mitchell in the BBC’s Being Human) as the dwarf Kili
Peter Jackson: “Aidan is a wonderfully gifted young actor who hails from Ireland. I’m sure he will bring enormous heart and humor to the role of Kili.”
Rob Kazinsky from EastEnders as Fili
Peter Jackson: “Rob is an extremely talented young actor with a huge career in front of him. I’m thrilled that he has agreed to take on the role of Fili. Besides his talent as an actor, Rob is also a champion sword fighter and I’m looking forward to seeing the damage he can do to a horde of marauding Goblins …”
Graham McTavish of Secretariat will be Dwalin
Peter Jackson: “Graham is a terrific actor, with a great depth of experience, which I know he will bring to the role of Dwalin.”
Mark Hadlow from King Kong is cast as Dori
Peter Jackson: “I have worked with Mark Hadlow on many projects, he is a fantastic actor.”
John Callen of Power Rangers Jungle Fury is Oin
Stephen Hunter from All Saints is Bombur
Peter Hambleton of The Strip will play Gloin
Peter Jackson: “I am also proud to annouce the casting of New Zealand actors as Peter Hambleton, John Callen and Stephen Hunter. Fran and I know that they will bring great depth and talent to our Company of Dwarves.”
Says Deadline, “The casting is just beginning, and there will be many more opportunities for the kind of career-changing roles that went in the original trilogy to the likes of Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood and Sean Astin. None of this is set, but I’ve heard that James Nesbitt and David Tennant are up for roles, and that Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis are expected to reprise Gandalf and Gollum, though I don’t believe they have made deals. Stephen Fry, Saoirse Ronan and Bill Nighy (as the voice of the dragon Smaug) are possible participants, and Aiden Turner is in contention for the Elf King [which conflicts with what was reported above].”