As Peter Jackson and Warner Brothers figure out where they’ll be shooting Parts 1 and 2 of the Hobbit, word has started to spread that Jackson has cast some of the many characters to be seen in both films, according to Deadline.
The key role of Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit whose discovery of the One Ring sets the course for The Lord of the Rings has gone to Martin Freeman (Hot Fuzz, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). Jackson had this to say about Freeman’s casting:
“Despite the various rumors and speculation surround 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.”
The Company of Dwarves, who set off to take back the Lonely Mountain from a thieving dragon will be lead by Richard Armitage (BBC’s Robin Hood and MI-5) who will be playing Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of the Company of Dwarves.
“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” said Jackson regarding Richard Armitage. “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.”
For the rest of the Company of Dwarves, Jackson has cast Aidan Turner (being Human) and Rob Kazinsky (Eastenders) as Kili and Filli, Graham McTavish (24) as Dwalin, Mark Hadlow (King Kong) as Dori. A trio of New Zealand actors have also been cast. John Callen (best known for his voice work in the Power Rangers) will play Oin, Stephen Hunter is Bombur, and Peter Hambleton will be Gloin.
Jackson is thrilled with each of the members of his new Middle Earth ensemble, calling them all talented and gifted and how each and every one of them “will bring great depth and talent to our Company of Dwarves.”
The Hobbit (parts 1 and 2) begins shooting in February with release dates December 2012 and December 2013.