Will The Hobbit find its Bilbo in Martin Freeman?

The Office U.K. and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy star has long been mentioned as the man to fill to Bilbo's, er, lack of shoes. But previous commitments have prevented it. Perhaps the many, many Hobbit delays will have a silver lining after all.

The thing that prevented Freeman from signing on to Peter Jackson's second foray into Middle-earth was one of the most famous second-banana roles ever: "I did have to say no to it for the second [season] of Sherlock," he says of the BBC's modern update of the classic detective stories—masterminded by Doctor Who overlord Steven Moffat—in which he plays the great sleuth's right-hand man, Dr. Watson. "But if something could be worked out, that would be great."

And Freeman thinks it'd be smart to cast Bilbo Baggins —played in Lord of the Rings by Ian Holm—with an actor possessed of a little age under his belt. "Bilbo isn't 20 at this stage of the story," Freeman said, "And I reckon I could do a young Ian Holm. I think I could give that a go."

If you'd like a better sense of what Freeman could bring, the first season of Sherlock starts airing on PBS October 24.

(Via Empire)

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