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A Long-Expected Party.

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.

With the fate of a Kiwi Middle Earth still up in the air (due to the aforementioned labor issues), Peter Jackson gets a greenlight — yes, he’s directing now — and announces the cast of The Hobbit. As Bilbo, and as rumored since the very beginning, Martin Freeman of The Office UK and Hitchhiker’s Guide. I like it.

Rounding out the cast (besides Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, and Andy Serkis, of course): Richard Armitage (no, not that one) as Thorin Oakinshield, Rob Kazinsky as Fili, Aidan Turner as Kili, Graham McTavish as Dwalin, John Callen as Oin, Stephen Hunter as Bombur, Mark Hadlow as Dori, and Peter Hambleton as Gloin. AICN has already thrown together a handy visual guide, and these guys all already have that dwarven je-ne-sais-quoi. (Hopefully, that means less Gimli make-up.) Pending a location, shooting is set to start in February.

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