In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Peter Jackson, director of the highly anticipated two-part film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, expressed his approval over the casting of Martin Freeman, who will play the story’s titular character, the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.
”He fits the ears, and he’s got some very nice feet,” Jackson said of Freeman. “I think he’s got the biggest hobbit feet we’ve had so far. They’re a little bit hard to walk in, but he’s managed to figure out the perfect hobbit gait.”
Freeman, star of The Office, has also appeared in such films as Hot Fuzz, Love Actually, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Jackson also shared his excitement over working once again with Sir Ian McKellen, who will reprise his role as the wizard Gandalf, a character whose look Jackson says has become “iconic” in the ten years following The Lord of the Rings films.
“So what's weird for me on The Hobbit is that I'll be sitting on the set talking to Ian and - if I look away at the crew and look back - I don't see Ian McKellen, I see Gandalf beside me.”
Other returning characters from The Lord of the Rings include Frodo, Galadriel, Gollum, and Legolas.
“We're working with much of the same crew as Lord of the Rings and obviously some of the actors like Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, and Andy Serkis are back so it's like a reunion. Plus we've got all the new boys.”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is slated for release on December 14, 2012, with The Hobbit: There and Back Again arriving in theaters on December 13, 2013.