Hobbit writer reveals why Sherlock's Freeman was cast as Bilbo

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Jan 14, 2013, 1:38 PM EST

Sherlock's very own Dr. John Watson—actor Martin Freeman—will be hitting it big when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theatres on Dec. 14. But other than the fact that Freeman is a pretty decent (and underrated) actor, why was he ultimately cast in the role of the young Bilbo Baggins?

The Hobbit co-writer Philippa Boyens reveals the reasons why they thought Freeman was the man for the job of playing young Bilbo to Ian Holmes' older, wiser hobbit.

Boyens spoke to SFX about the reasons why Freeman was ultimately cast :

"His great sense of comedy is something we do need in the story. He's quintessentially English, and that's a hard thing to define, and one of his great gifts as an actor is that he's immediately likeable."

Boyens also adds that Bilbo is not a character who would seem all that heroic at first, so they needed someone who could be appealing.

"There's nothing obviously heroic about tumbling out of your door going off chasing treasure — and not even knowing exactly why you've done it either!

"So we needed somebody with a great range, who lets you in, and is also really quite athletic too — it's a physical role."

Do you agree with Philippa Boyens that Martin Freeman can/will bring all of this to the table? Or would you rather withold judgment until you see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Dec. 14?

(SFX via Digital Spy)