[all of this, even the image, courtesy of FirstShowing]
Since I’ve covered both of these stories before on the Back Row, I feel it’s necessary to also cover their apparent conclusions. First off, now that The Hobbit has FINALLY been given the green light and is starting production early next year, reports are also appearing that confirm the role of Bilbo Baggins has officially gone to Martin Freeman, making him the third confirmed cast member behind Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis. Huzzah! I think Freeman is going to be perfect for the role. But of course that isn’t the end of the rumour onslaught, as more actors are being discussed as potential cast members, including David Tennant (of Dr. Who fame), Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Centurion), and James Nesbitt (of Jekyll, which I’m sure TK will be glad to hear). Who knows if any of them will actually make it into the movie, but at least we’ve got our Bilbo and the production is finally starting after what seemed like a lifetime. The Hobbit starts shooting in February 2011 with a budget of around $500 million.
The second piece of news is one that I can hardly believe. Darren Aronofsky, the guy who directed the bleak and depressing Requiem For A Dream, the bizarre trepanning Pi, the poignant The Wrestler, and the upcoming, surreal-looking Black Swan, has been tapped to directed X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2. I…I don’t know what to say. This is akin to getting Steven Spielberg to direct The Scorpion King 3. Think about it: an acclaimed award-winning director is going to be directing the SEQUEL TO A PREQUEL, and not even a particularly good prequel at that! The mind boggles. As surprising as this turn of events is, though, at least it means that the sequel to Wolverine will probably be a really cool one. But I just can’t believe this rumour turned out to be true.