The big-budget movie adaptation of The Hobbit is a long way from coming out. For a while, it has seemed like it was a long way from starting production. Not surprising, however, when you consider the director has changed, the owner of the rights (MGM) is in bankruptcy and there is still no Bilbo Baggins. There may be some good news leading to production gearing up in the next few months.
The biggest problem is a lack of funding from a production company that has gotten so invaluable that Disney renamed one of their parks - Metro Goldwin Meyer, better known as MGM. Spyglass has been trying to figure out how to keep MGM afloat long enough to finish the movies and, according to TheOneRing, there might be a solution:
According to our spy, if things go well with MGM and Spyglass in the next few weeks, ‘The Hobbit’ will head to production in January, pending negotiations with Freeman and filming could tie up actors for a year. (January happens to be an excellent weather month to shoot at the Hobbiton set.)
For more on the production, follow the break.
So, Spyglass will own a pretty major stake in the company and be able to get back on track there, especially with $1.9 billion available to MGM.
But where does this leave us with a Bilbo? Well, according to reports, Martin Freeman, who starred in the original The Office as well as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is being tapped to play the iconic, starring role for the films. The original filming schedule apparently didn't work for him because he will also be playing Dr. Watson in the BBC's series Sherlock but because of the fact that MGM is in the trouble they are in, that schedule can be easily mended if he takes the role.
I have always liked Martin as an actor. His portrayal of Tim (basically the role of Jim in the US) on The Office was just the right amount of dry and casual to keep him seeming real yet witty. He was also the perfect pick for Arthur Dent in Hitchhiker's Guide for a lot of the same reasons. Add in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and his many other roles and he proves he can play a range of characters. Hopefully he will pull off Bilbo with the same detail he did Arthur Dent.