James McAvoy as Bilbo Baggins

The casting race is on for The Hobbit and it appears James McAvoy has the inside track to play Bilbo Baggins. Baggins is the wandering Hobbit who found the Ring. Finding the perfect Bilbo is essential to the success of the film.

When we last saw him, the older Bilbo Baggins was returning from his travels in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and was played by Ian Holm. The new film needs a younger Baggins and McAvoy is said to be the producers first choice.

The Scottish actor has played the naive doctor to Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, a feisty young Irishman confined to a wheelchair, in Rory O’Shea Was Here and the gentle faun, Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia. McAvoy has romanced Keira Knightly in Atonement and was the lost love of Anne Hathaway’s Jane Austen in Becoming Jane and is starring opposite Angelina Jolie in the thriller Wanted set to open in June.

Will he take on the role of Bilbo Baggins? Other actors that have been suggested are Daniel Radcliffe, yes THE Harry Potter and Jack Black. It appears the role is McAvoy’s if he wants it and I’m hoping he signs on.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel “The Hobbit” will be adapted by Guillermo del Toro, who directed Pan’s Labyrinth.

Filing will begin in New Zealand later this year, with Peter Jackson as producer.

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