Martin Freeman chooses the role of Dr. John Watson over the role of Bilbo Baggins. Very nice choices to have to choose from...
FREEMAN PICKS BAKER ST. OVER MIDDLE-EARTH?
There have been persistent rumors for a while now that Martin Freeman (Sherlock‘s Dr John Watson) was on the short list of actors to play Bilbo Baggins in Guillermo del ToroPeter Jackson’s much-beleaguered and much-delayed two-part adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. A role performed by Ian Holm in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Bilbo of The Hobbit is much younger, and thus the producers have been searching for a new actor for this, the starring role.
Well, it now turns out that rumor was apparently true. Digitalspy and others are reporting that Martin Freeman was recently offered the role, but turned it down… in favor of Sherlock:
“It was one of the most difficult decisions of his career,” a source told the paper. “MGM, who are making the film, only got a formal offer over in the last couple of weeks.”
No one’s gone on the record yet, and we’re unclear of the timing of this; was an offer on the table to him before Sherlock aired in July and August? Was Freeman waiting for the BBC to recommission Sherlock before he decided? Was his contract for the first series Sherlockstructured in such a way that he was contractually obligated to be in another series ofSherlock? No clue. Digitalspy reports that this news came from The Sun, whose rumors we tend not to pass along, but this is being widely enough reported, we succumbed. Apologies to all hopeful LotR fans, but we’re clearly happy that he made this choice (if, in fact, this is true).
From the sound of this report, filming for the second series of Sherlock will be at around 20 weeks — again, no clue if this is in line with the first series’ production schedule, but it’s the first we’ve heard of any concrete numbers. And, hopefully, will dispel the myth that the producers of Sherlock need to be making a 12 or 13 episode series. Making each of these sets of three films clearly takes time, people!
[Picture at the top originally from http://www.herr-der-ringe-film.de; and, no, we don't think Jackson's film will be auf Deutsch].