Latino Review is reporting that Tobey Maguire’s people and the producers of The Hobbit are talking about having the actor topline Guillermo Del Toro’s highly-anticipated prequel to The Lord of the Rings. Apparently, the story started to develop innocuously at the press junket for Brothers where Maguire was asked what director he would like to work with and he answered, “Guillermo Del Toro”. Then he had to go on and follow it up with, “We may have something here in the near future.” El Mayimbe went and checked with his industry sources and it looks like, “we’re in the early stages of talks between CAA and the producers of the Hobbit film for Tobey to topline the film as Bilbo Baggins!”
Keep in mind that these are just early talks and that Maguire has not been cast and no offer has been made. However, since it turns out that Spider-Man 4 and 5 aren’t shooting back-to-back, Maguire would have time in his schedule provided Spidey sticks to shooting in Winter 2010 and the first Hobbit movie stays on track to shoot in mid-Summer 2010. However, there’s a little bit of an issue with The Hobbit making that start late since as Del Toro told fans last week that WB still hasn’t given the official greenlight. Furthermore, since MGM holds half of the rights to the property and they’re being auctioned off next month. Del Toro and Peter Jackson have been funding pre-production out of their own pockets but they need a studio to head into filming. The casting of a name-star like Maguire could push WB to finally pull the trigger, but we’ll see.