Slowly but sure, "The Hobbit" is making its way to The Shire. After getting a green light, the movie is gathering its cast ensemble. Peter Jackson has made an official announcement about who will appear in the film, confirming wide speculation that English actor Martin Freeman ("The Office") will play main character Bilbo Baggins.
"Despite the various rumours and speculation surround this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us," the director/producer/scribe says. "He [Martin] is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave - exactly like Bilbo and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit."
Richard Armitage ("Frozen", "Captain America: The First Avenger") is cast as Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the Dwarves. Thorin's nephews, dwarves Kili and Fili, are going to be portrayed by Aidan Turner ("Being Human") and Robert Kazinsky ("EastEnders").
Graham McTavish ("Secretariat") will star as blue-bearded Dwalin, John Callen ("The Man Who Lost His Head") will play skillful fire-maker Oin who is also brother of Gloin, while Stephen Hunter ("All Saints") will be seen as Bombur, the fat sleepy and slow member of Thorin's company. Mark Hadlow ("King Kong") is cast as Dori, the strongest Dwarf, with Peter Hambleton ("The Strip") portraying Gloin, brother of Oin and father of Gimli from "The Lord of the Rings".
Five more names are expected to be unveiled in the coming hours to round up the film's company of thirteen Dwarves. Peter is also expected to confirm the return of Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Andy Serkis as Gollum.
"The Hobbit", which re-creates the scenes of the novel with additional events that make an impact to "The Lords of the Rings", will be split into two parts. The first film is scheduled to arrive in December 2012 while "The Hobbit 2" may come out a year later.
As of late, it has been said that production of the two movies may shift from New Zealand to a location offshore. These adventure films will be shot back to back and in 3-D.