Update: Jackson denies Hobbit casting news at Comic-Con

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

[Updated: Peter Jackson denied to Empire magazine that he'll be announcing any Hobbit casting at Comic-Con: "No, we won't be announcing Bilbo for a little while. We're starting to think about casting, but we're knee-deep in the script right now. And when we do go to actors, they're probably going to ask to see a script, so we're powering ahead with getting the first draft done."]

The two proposed Hobbit movies are not on the agenda of next week's Comic-Con in San Diego, but many of its principal players will be there, either in an official capacity or as visitors: producer Peter Jackson, there to promote District 9; rumored star David Tennant, to flack Doctor Who; possible cast member Doug Jones; maybe even director Guillermo del Toro, who has been known to haunt the exhibition hall looking for collectibles.

So it's no surprise the Los Angeles Times' "Hero Complex" blog is speculating that a big casting announcement may come at the four-day pop-culture confab:

The whisper we keep hearing in recent days is that the name of the lead star in Guillermo del Toro's The Hobbit will be announced next week at Comic-Con International.

A few people also point out that David Tennant, one of the purported candidates for the role of Bilbo Baggins, just happens to be making his very first trip to the San Diego expo to promote Doctor Who, a television series that he will soon be leaving behind.

Peter Jackson, the producer of the two-film Hobbit series that begins its theater run in 2011, is also slated to appear this year, and, well, you can see the dot-connecting possibilities. ...

Other rumored Bilbos include Wanted's newly buff James McAvoy, and even Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe.