The Ballad of (McCoy as) Bilbo Baggins

Despite the financial difficulties facing MGM and the subsequent departure of original director Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) several casting rumours have put Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, in line for a role in The Hobbit.

1980s Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoyNothing has been confirmed yet but Peter Jackson, who is close to putting pen to paper on directing both installments of the adaptation of  J.R.R Tolkien’s seminal novel, was believed to have jetted across the globe to speak to his actors last month, taking for granted that Warner Bros deal to buy MGM’s rights to The Hobbit was a sure thing.

Already confirmed to reprising their roles from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy are Sir Ian McKellen (X-Men, Apt Pupil)  as Gandalf the Grey, Andy Serkis (King Kong, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll) as Gollum and Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, Transformers)  as Elrond.

McKellan had threatened to walk from the project unless he was informed of what was happening with the rights hampered, director-less and not yet greenlit films.

Rumours have already circulated that McCoy was to be cast as Bilbo Baggins, the protagonist of The Hobbit who 60 years later would return in the follow up; Lord of the Rings.

In The Hobbit Bilbo is charged with the quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and stealing the Dragon Smaug’s treasure. Along the way Bilbo avoids capture by Gollum after he finds the Ring and uses its powers of invisibility to slip away.

McCoy was said to have been close to getting the role in Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy but lost out to Sir Ian Holm (Time Bandits, Brazil).

Given that Holm is 77 and McCoy, a sprightly 66 (Bilbo was fifty in the novel) it seems likely that a second stab might be given to the former question mark zealot. The role is expected to be filled by a younger actor with an older Bilbo recounting the tale.

Actors rumoured for Young Bilbo have been Toby Maguire (Spider-Man, The Good German). James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland, Wanted) and the Tenth Doctor himself David Tennant (erh…Doctor Who).

Screenrush were the first to break the news after bumping into McCoy outside a theatre in London where they were given the exclusive that he may be  playing Bilbo by:

“a source ‘close to him'”

Nothing has been confirmed by McCoy’s agent yet, though frankly the man must be doing cartwheels around Piccadilly Circus with all the free publicity his charge is getting.

Who writer Paul Cornell has already commented on the news via his Twitter page:

“I think Sylvester McCoy would be a great choice to play The Hobbit. I hope it’s true. I’d enjoy seeing the annoyable annoyed at that”

What do you think of the former Doctor, who has had his detractors, entering Middle Earth?

(via LatinoReview)


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