Much of the time, the casting rumor mill is all sorts of ridiculous and laugh worthy, but this ... this is a rumor has caught me hook, line, and sinker. An AICN source is saying that Tom Waits might grab a role in The Hobbit. (As of noon, the link won't connect, but the direct link was found via Cinema Spy, and the following quote via Contact Music.)

A source supposedly told the site: "As much as I'd like to say he's a lock (certainty), I'm told he's simply someone the production is talking about -- but they seem to be talking about him pretty seriously." Either the rumor mill is putting a little extra effort into making believable and tasty suggestions, or methinks the Hobbit folks were charmed by Waits' turn in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and realized what a good addition he'd be to any fantastical world. The actor stole the show in Gilliam's film, whether pitted against the newcomers or old pros like Christopher Plummer.

But the big question comes down to who would he play? Which character could use his gravelly voice and rugged charisma? He's done the weak-minded servant for Dracula, the crazy ringleader in Wristcutters, and the manipulative devil for Imaginarium, so how would you cast him, Hobbit fans?