Update: MGM trying again to get Martin Freeman to play Bilbo

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Adam-Troy Castro
Dec 14, 2012

Here's a quick 101 on the recent Hobbit rumors. Martin Freeman, who plays Dr. Watson in the BBC's Sherlock series, was allegedly offered the role of Bilbo Baggins but turned it down, although no one was sure if any of that really happened. Today, it not only looks like it happened, but there's suddenly a very good chance he'll end up playing Bilbo after all.

Here's what Entertainment Weekly found out about the situation:

Yesterday, the British newspaper The Sun ran a story saying that Martin Freeman (a.k.a. Tim from the original U.K. Office) had to decline an offer (and seven-figure payday) to play Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's Hobbit movies due to a scheduling conflict: The actor was already committed to shoot the BBC series Sherlock, in which he plays Dr. Watson. That's all true, but according to sources close to the Hobbit production, it's not over yet. New Line and MGM, the studios backing the Hobbit films, have since come back to Freeman with a proposed schedule that would allow him to shoot both projects. All parties are currently negotiating a deal.

From our POV this is good great news, as we love Freeman in Sherlock and think he's a great actor who'd make an excellent Bilbo. And he definitely has that Hobbit look, in a good way.