Martin Freeman Turns Down THE HOBBIT?

According to DigitalSpy.com, actor Martin Freeman (THE OFFICE, LOVE ACTUALLY, SHERLOCK) was up for the part of Bilbo Baggins in the hotly-anticipated Peter Jackson film, The Hobbit, but unfortunately…

The actor turned down the role in the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s book because he had already committed to 20 weeks filming the second series of BBC’s Sherlock, The Sun reports.

“It was one of the most difficult decisions of his career,” a source told the paper. “MGM, who are making the film, only got a formal offer over in the last couple of weeks.”

They continued: “It was too late for Martin because he had already signed up for another series of Sherlock. It was agonising but he had no other choice.

“All the actors had to read four pages of script to camera which is being shown to Peter Jackson.”

They added: “He is looking for a hidden gem now Martin has ruled himself out of the job.”

Freeman will return to his role as John Watson in the next three-part series of Sherlock.

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Two pieces of Hobbit News

The One Ring (theonering.net) is a little concerned that Hellboy director Guillermo Del Toro could go kid-oriented when he directs the upcoming Hobbit movies. Personally, I don’t think anyone who’s seen The Devil’s Backbone, Pan’s Labyrinth or even Hellboy 1 or 2 would think Del Toro the type to go that way, so it’s clear TheOneRing is playing this one tongue-in-cheek, but the list it’s come up with is awesome. You can read the whole thing here, but here’s an excerpt…

3. Keep Leonard Nimoy Away From the Soundtrack!
Yes, Nimoy’s version of “Bilbo Baggins” is the greatest music video in history (except perhaps for the DaVinyls “I Touch Myself”). But it’s also exactly the wrong note for the new Hobbit movie.

 

This is exactly the light-hearted silliness that makes The Hobbit fun to read as a child, but hard to sit through in a feature-length film. Unless Nimoy plays Gandalf. No offense to Ian McKellen, but that would be awesome.

 

Naturally, they include this video as a chilling reminder…

And in other Hobbit news, remember those bones that were found a couple years back? Small and humanoid, they were dubbed ‘hobbits’ and had even archaeologists and their ilk scratching their heads. Well, a little bit of the mystery has been solved: They weren’t humans at all! The Mirror explains…

Hobbit-like creatures who lived 18,000 years ago were a lot less like us than we thought, say scientists.

Researchers have decided the 3ft 6ins tall tribe from the Indonesian island of Flores are an unknown sub-species of modern man. Their remains caused a sensation when unveiled five years ago and they were dubbed Hobbits after the elf-like creatures in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

Some researchers argued they were modern humans with a disorder called microcephaly accounting for their tiny brains.

But analysis of the most complete skeleton, of a female called Flo, suggests she was a different branch of human. Anthropologist Dr Karen Baab said: “Dwarfing syndromes and microcephaly bear no resemblance to the unique anatomy of Homo Floresiensis.”

It is thought the little folk were wiped out 12,000 years ago by a volcano.

And that’s all, it seems, for real-life Hobbit news and the fantasy Hobbit-news we’ll of course be keeping up on–especially when WETA starts sending out the merch! ‘Til then, we do have a wide selection of Lord of the Rings figures and collectibles still available, which of course feature a couple Hobbit/LOTR crossover characters. Look out for ’em.