Not so fast, says EW. In an updated story this afternoon, sources close to the project tell the website that MGM and New Line Cinemas have come up with a revised shooting schedule for the project that would allow Freeman to make both The Hobbit and reprise his role as Dr. Watson in the hit BBC series Sherlock. Apparently negotiations are ongoing.
Freeman isn't exactly a household name here in the States yet -- but he's best known for his role as Tim in Ricky Gervais' British version of The Office. American audiences will get a chance to see him as Holmes' trusty sidekick Watson when Sherlock debuts here this October.
The Hobbit, Tolkien's story of Bilbo Baggins, the dragon Smaug, and the One Ring, has been in development for what seems like years due to MGM's financial woes. Speculation has run rampant that the project might be scrapped, but with Peter Jackson now onboard to direct (replacing Guillermo Del Toro) and the potential casting of a Baggins in the works, it seems as though things might be moving forward at last.
Having seen Freeman's picture, I can see him as a Hobbit. What do you think? Do you buy Freeman in the part or did you have someone with most mainstream appeal in mind?