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UPDATE: Rumor du jour: Did Martin Freeman turn down the role of Bilbo Baggins?

UPDATE: According to Entertainment Weekly, the race for Freeman as Bilbo Baggins hasn't ended yet. Sources close to the HOBBIT production are saying that New Line and MGM have come back to Freeman with a schedule that would allow him to do the film as well as SHERLOCK. They also note that all parties are currently in negotiations. EW is a tad more reliable than The Sun. We will just have to wait until something more official hits.

Again, this is a rumor. So don't go freaking out and burn down the Shire just yet.

The Sun is reporting that Martin Freeman has turned down the role of Bilbo Baggins for Peter Jackson's THE HOBBIT.

Why would he go and do (or not do) something like that? Especially when it's rumored that the part came with a seven figure salary. According to an "inside source", Freeman has a prior commitment to the BBC series SHERLOCK.

The source said that, “It was one of the most difficult decisions of his career. MGM, who are making the film, only got a formal offer over in the last couple of weeks. It was too late for Martin because he had already signed up for another series of Sherlock. It was agonizing but he had no other choice.”

From what I remember, Freeman was one of the actors that you guys chose in a Bilbo "Cast This" article. Freeman does currently have a commitment to SHERLOCK and it would take a great deal of time to film THE HOBBIT. However, if they wanted him bad enough and he wanted to do it bad enough, perhaps an arrangement could be made. I say this partially due to the fact that Freeman is my top choice for Bilbo. But could Freeman carry a film like this? I think the guy is great in everything from THE OFFICE (UK version) to THE GOOD NIGHT.

What are your thoughts on this rumor?

Extra Tidbit: While I do enjoy John Krasinski on THE OFFICE as Jim, Freeman's portrayal of Tim was often too realistically heartbreaking.
Source: The SunTheOneRing

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