News has reached me via TheOneRing.com that WETA are using Steve Buscemi, an actor that has appeared in many movies, such as Armaggedon, Fargo, The Big Lebowski and Con Air, as a model for the emaciated Hobbit.
I have a few friends at Weta, (I DON’T work there myself), and as we were talking a bit about digital character animation, they told me that they were gearing up towards the building/animating of a fully digital main character. So I said ‘yeah, nothing new, everybody knows you’re doing Gollum for lotr’. Then he said ‘ok, but did you know that we’re using Steve Buschemi as a template?’ (!!?)
I was more than a little surprised. But they insisted that they’re using Buschemi not only for facial expressions but also for the lipsynch testphase.
I find this highly unlilkey to be true, the good folks at WETA (I have spoken with a few) are very nice, but they cannot give away info of that nature. It remains to be seen, but don’t hold your breath.