Friday, July 16, 2010

Sylvester McCoy Score Bilbo Baggins Role?

A new, unconfirmed rumor suggests that former Dr. Who (7th) actor Sylvester McCoy has won the role of Bilbo Baggins for the two The Hobbit films. The rumor is based on second hand information from the Screenrush twitter account. In a tweet they said "Chalk this up to BS if you like but we bumped into former @doctorwho Sylvester McCoy last night and discovered he's been cast in The Hobbit!". Bleeding Cool followed up on that and they responded with "Nope, his friend did. He was down to the final two to play Bilbo in LOTR but lost out. Could be his gig now or utter balls."

The big about being in the final two is related to a long unconfirmed rumor that when Peter Jackson was casting for the same role for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, McCoy had lost the role to Ian Holm. There is little to support or deny this story but the age of McCoy, who is currently 67 years, might have something to do with it. In The Hobbit books, Bilbo was around 50 years old when he went on his adventure and discovered the One Ring. Once he gained possession, it effectively retarded his aging so he physically remained 50 years despite being 111 years old for the events in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Holm, now 79, was around 68 when he played Bilbo so its not without precedent that an older actor (who looks younger) being cast to play the iconic role. As agist as it sound, an issue I see is the two films will be physically demanding role so I would think it would be advantageous to cast an actor as close as 50 as possible to minimize problems but I guess it depends really on what the script ultimately requires for the actor. Like all things with the Hobbit, only time will tell if this latest rumor is true.

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