“Despite the various rumours and speculation surrounding this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us,” says Peter Jackson. “There are a few times in your career when you come across an actor who you know was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin. He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave – exactly like Bilbo and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit.”

Actor Martin Freeman must be on cloud nine right about now. Director extraordinaire, Peter Jackson has met problem after problem concerning his upcoming film, The Hobbit, which most people know is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings series. But as you can read in the statement above, taken from ComingSoon.net and the official New Line/ Warner Bros. press release, Bilgo Baggins, star character of the film, and a certain Frodo Baggins’s uncle, has been cast. Read more about the film’s green light here on BSC. That occurred October 15th and since that time, “pre-production has been in full swing”.

Furthermore actors Richard Armitage, Rob Kazinsky, Aidan Turner, Graham McTavish, John Callen, Stephen Hunter, Mark Hadlow and Peter Hambleton have also been announced to round out the cast. The Hobbit project, which includes more than one film, will hit the big screen December, 2012 and December, 2013. We also read that Richard Armitage is not a hobbit at all, but rather playing “Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of the Company of Dwarves which sets off to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from a thieving dragon”.

Of Armitage, Jackson said, “Richard is one of the most exciting and dynamic actors working on screen today and we know he is going to make an amazing Thorin Oakensheild. We cannot wait to start this adventure with him and feel very lucky that one of the most beloved characters in Middle-earth is in such good hands.”

Aidan Turner and Rob Kazinsky are also dwarves, called Kili and Fili. Jackson commented, “Rob is also a champion sword fighter; I’m looking forward to seeing the damage he can do to a horde of marauding Goblins!”

Peter Hambleton of TV’s The Strip is cast as Gloin. That’s totally interesting, because we geeks know, Gimli, the dwarf from the previous LotR movies, is the son of Gloin.

The two Hobbit films are being co-produced by New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production, Warner Bros. Pictures handling domestic distribution and MGM distributing internationally.