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.
Good news, right? What do you think? Is Freeman the right guy to play the titular hobbit in Jackson’s next epic trip to Middle Earth? How will Freeman’s Bilbo compare to Ian Holm’s? Whose feet will be hairier?