However, it looks like the film is finally moving forward. Martin Freeman, best known as Tim from the British Office, Arthur Dent in Hitchhikers Guide and recently as Dr. John Watson in the very great BBC series Sherlock has been cast as Bilbo Baggins.
It’s a perfect choice. From the Warner Bros. press release:
“Despite the various rumours and speculation surrounding this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us,” says Peter Jackson. “There are a few times in your career when you come across an actor who you know was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin. He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave – exactly like Bilbo and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit.”
Scouting locations on the two-part film began last week (it’s highly likely the film won’t shoot in New Zealand because of an actors union strike), and a tentative release date has been set for December 2012 and December 2013.