It is confirmed, casting is under way on the Hobbit and that is news enough. There have been rumors but now we have confirmation from a source that told us other details about casting as well. In addition to all of that, we have this juicy bombshell: They are casting one female role!
It seems likely that casting at this early stage would be for a featured role, not an insignificant bit part and we don’t have further details so while we can speculate plenty – the ‘Hobbit’ community will do so in our chat room and on our message boards – that is all that is known. Is it for a voice actor which will be needed for creatures? Is there a female dwarf among Bilbo’s companions? (After all, Tolkien never said explicitly that all were male!)
This casting information is somewhat of a surprise because of Peter Jackson’s insistence in media interviews that the two-part ‘Hobbit’ film has not been given the ‘green light’ status that a film needs to receive funding from the studio. Over the summer at Comic-Con he was clear that nobody had been cast and couldn’t be cast because there wasn’t an approved budget from the studio, contracts and offers couldn’t be extended to actors. But our source says without doubt that the casting process is underway, including details we can’t reveal until we get confirmation from other sources.
Then, checking past e-mails and interview notes from past sources to see if this information shed any new light on old information, one sentence from the best of sources stood out. It said: “Budget, casting and schedule need to be approved by the studio to be greenlit.”
In light of this new information that sentence now seems to mean that Executive Producer Peter Jackson and co-writer and director Guillermo del Toro are preparing a budget, a cast and a schedule that along with their script, may go to the studio for one-package approval. This is interpretation of course, but that sentence and this new information leads us to believe that the studio is letting Jackson (likely with constant input) get everything ready for a final “go” from the studio all at once. Jackson’s role as producer includes shepherding all those details with likely studio conversation.
Auditions often involve multiple sessions, readings or interviews and for films of this size the net would likely be cast wide causing the process to be a lengthy one. Likely cast members are called back to read with other actors to test for chemistry and rapport, extending the process for weeks or even months. So that, along with estimates of a post-Christmas script hand-in (according to Jackson in the media), and casting going on now means that bigger news might be due after the beginning of the year. This all could happen together as the studio approves not only the scripts but the cast, schedule and final budget all at once. Jackson and del Toro have mentioned that while writing the script they discussed potential cast members which may shorten the process somewhat, depending on previous conversation with potential talent. It has been stated publicly numerous times that Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will reprise their roles from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
As more and more agents, actors and supporting talent are either involved or turned down, and in the age of the magic thing called the internet, word travels face out here in cyberspace. If anybody knows more please let us know at Spymaster@TheOneRing.net.
The author of this article can be reached at MrCere@TheOneRing.net