Martin Freeman, who played Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and starred in the original UK version of The Office, has officially been cast as reluctant hero Bilbo Baggins’ in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, a two-part prequel to the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy that starts filming early next year for December 2012 and 2013 release.
Freeman makes his American debut as Dr. John Watson in the BBC’s acclaimed series Sherlock this Sunday.
Joining him in Middle-earth as Thorin Oakenshield, leader of a band of dwarves seeking the treasure hoard of the dragon Smaug, is Richard Armitage, famous for playing Sir Guy of Gisborne in the BBC’s Robin Hood as well as roles in MI-5/Spooks and The Vicar of Dibley. The full company of dwarves also includes Aidan Turner (BBC’s Being Human).
We still have no official announcement that Sir Ian McKellen will reprise his role as Gandalf — which is expected — or that Hugo Weaving will return as Elrond Half-elven.