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Martin Freeman could still be “The Hobbit”

British actor Martin Freeman might be playing Bilbo Baggins after all in the upcoming film adaptation of The Hobbit. His commitment to the BBC’s Sherlock forced him to turn down the role as we reported earlier today, but according to Entertainment Weekly, MGM has made a new offer that would fit into Freeman’s schedule. The actor is perhaps most famous for his role on the original version of The Office.

Although this is unconfirmed at the moment, let’s take a look at this possible casting decision. Ian Holm portrayed Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Given his veteran status and Oscar nomination for the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, he certainly has more prestige behind him than Freeman. In addition, Holm has an extensive background in dramatic films, but Freeman’s work to date has been more comedic. Freeman hasn’t done enough to truly validate any acting skill beyond humor. The Hobbit isn’t a full-fledged drama, but an actor’s dramatic abilities would serve the character much better than his comedic chops.

However, maybe Freeman actually does have what it takes to take on the highly coveted role of Bilbo Baggins. Keep a lookout for an official casting announcement, as one may occur in the next few weeks.


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