Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in 'The Hobbit'
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in ‘The Hobbit’

If anyone was remotely unsure as to why Martin Freeman should have been such a perfect casting choice for the role of Bilbo Baggins in the new Peter Jackson Hobbit films – beyond the fact that he is jolly good at the acting, of course – that they would hold up production of the films so he could fulfil his obligations to Sherlock, the new TV spot for the film should offer some clue. In it, the rather pompous Bilbo is seen behaving in a manner that Sherlock/Office/Hitchhikers fans will surely recognise as Freemanesque (around the 18 seconds mark):

And there’s a really good reason for this, Bilbo is a stickler for correctness, as Martin explained to Empire magazine: “He is intrinsically more correct than Frodo, more pompous. Frodo is more open, Bilbo has to be broken like a clam. Much of the comedy comes from his correctness in facing danger for the first time.”

Not that he considers his appointment to have been as inevitable as it may seem now: “There’s still a part of me that still doesn’t quite believe it’s going to come out. Not many things you do in your life take on mythical proportions. Because of Tolkien, and because of  Peter it’s the most anticipated film I’m sure I’ll ever do.”

And here’s the first TV spot, which came out a week ago:

The first instalment in the three-part series, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is in theaters this December.

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By Fraser McAlpine