James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe, and David Tennant: Who Will Be Bilbo Baggins in Guillermo del Toro’s THE HOBBIT?

     July 16, 2009

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According to LA Times’ Hero Complex, James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe, and David Tennant are all in contention to play Bilbo Baggins in Guillermo del Toro’s “The Hobbit”.  Moreover, there are whispers that we’ll get the casting announcement next week at Comic-Con.  Some folks are trying to put two and two together by saying that if David Tennant is there for “Doctor Who” and producer Peter Jackson is there for “District 9″ then maybe the two will rush the stage at Hall H right in the middle of the “New Moon” presentation, announce the casting, and then get murdered by a horde of tweenage girls.  Sorry, got carried away with a fantasy there.

Hit the jump to get my thoughts about these casting rumors.

Personally, I don’t think we’re getting an announcement at Comic-Con.  Part 1 of “The Hobbit” isn’t even schedule to hit theatres till 2011 and while filming will certainly begin next year, you don’t want to just spill the casting and let it just sit there. Furthermore, this is a passing of the torch and to have Peter Jackson announce the lead of the film without Guillermo del Toro present is bad form and borderline undermines the director.

As for these casting fantasies, I think of the three, McAvoy is the most likely candidate.  His name has already been rumored in connection with the role and he’s the most established in the mainstream (although since it’s “The Hobbit”, you could cast an unknown and get away with it).  If Tennant has an edge on McAvoy it’s that McAvoy may not have room in his schedule for “The Hobbit” which will be a lengthy production as del Toro shoots it in two parts back-to-back.  As for Radcliffe, that’s just silly.  It would be an incredible strain to jump from the 250 day-shoot of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” to the long-shoot of “The Hobbit”.  He would also tie himself to another major fantasy property and I think being associated with one renowned literary protagonist beloved the world over is enough for one lifetime, don’t you?  That’s not to mention that Radcliffe has already stated that he wants to return to stage acting once he’s finished with “Deathly Hallows”.

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