Martin Freeman Turns Down Lead Role In The Hobbit
A source told The Sun that Martin was offered a seven-figure deal to play Bilbo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings prequel but turned it down in order to continue playing John Watson in Sherlock.
“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 agonising but he had no other choice.”
Well, what’s bad for The Hobbit is good for Sherlock and you know what, we’re OK with that. The show was a smash hit when its three episode run burst onto our screens earlier this year and is set to return with more specials and 90-minute episodes.
The source went on to say, “All the actors had to read four pages of script to camera which is being shown to Peter Jackson. He is looking for a hidden gem now Martin has ruled himself out of the job.”
With The Hobbit producers still grappling with legal issues and the fact that Guillermo Del Toro washed his hands of the project recently, it looks like MGM could miss out on the late 2012 release date they’ve been aiming for.