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Old 05-30-2008, 05:12 PM   #1
Knight of Gondor
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Question James McAvoy as Bilbo Baggins?

Rumor has it that those responsible for putting The Hobbit together all thought of the same person...James McAvoy, the ruddy faun from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and now heart-throbbing his way into other movies as well.

Other actors mentioned were Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe and (oh gag) Jack Black.

My problem is that all of these actors are far, far too young for the role.

Your thoughts? Who would YOU cast?
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:32 PM   #2
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You're kidding I hope about Jack Black? Surely they can't be serious...

Agreed, I think all of those actors are way too young. I don't rightfully know who I would cast, but it wouldn't be any of those actors.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:48 PM   #3
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Alas that it is not a joke!

http://www.myparkmag.co.uk/articles/...es-mcavoy.html
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:59 AM   #4
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Jack Black has made a very lucrative career out of playing a stereotypical caricature of a Generation X loser. The only really good performance I have ever seen from him - and by that I mean where he was a semi-real person with emotions - was in the Gwyneth Paltrow movie where she was overweight. His miscasting in KONG was perhaps the worst since John Watne attempted to play Genghis Khan and was laughed out of many theaters.

McAvoy may be a tad too young for the part of Bilbo, but he certainly has a hobbitish look to him. It could work if they can put a few pounds and years on him with the aid of make-up.
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Old 05-31-2008, 07:10 AM   #5
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McAvoy may be a tad too young for the part of Bilbo, but he certainly has a hobbitish look to him. It could work if they can put a few pounds and years on him with the aid of make-up.
Come on - they went for a Frodo who looked about 12. I don't see them going for a middle-aged Bilbo - in spite of Tolkien's Beowulf inspired 'in-joke'......
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:12 AM   #6
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Does this not raise the oft asked question about the real age of hobbits compared to human actors given Tolkiens description of the period of their "tweens" and other such descriptors?

Saying Wood looked about 12 is a gross exaggeration.
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:24 AM   #7
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OK he might have looked 13

Oh James MacAvoy is rather lovely and nearly thirty now so he wouldn't be that much too young given that slower hobbit aging.

I always thought Michael C.Hall would have been a good Bilbo - his portrayal of David Fisher in Six Feet Under had that hard combination of prissiness, courage and compassion... but I suppose his more recent role as Dexter the serial killer would make that an eccentric choice..... I still think he looks a bit hobbitty and at 37 he is just about the right age.
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:42 AM   #8
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Michael C.Hall? Too rugged-looking. Nobody would mistake him for a grocer.

"When I saw him bobbing about on the mat I had my doubts. Looked more like a grocer than a burglar."
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:51 AM   #9
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Not what I would call rugged ..and I can see him as a grocer..or perhaps the manager of an up market delicatessen

And if they are going to get anywhere near the Bilbo of then you do need someone who can do that houseproud bourgeouis bachelor who likes things just so....
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:02 AM   #10
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I find myself viscerally hoping that a heart-throb will not be chosen for the role of BIlbo. He's supposed to be the hobbit next door.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:10 AM   #11
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Well I agree that he shouldn't be "heart throbby" and while I think Hall is attractive and McAvoy is very attractive (it is those blue eyes) they are neither Brad Pitt pretty or George Clooney types. Bilbo should have something about him though. He isn't a run of the mill Hobbit, son that he is of Belladonna Took.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:45 AM   #12
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I always thought Michael C.Hall would have been a good Bilbo - his portrayal of David Fisher in Six Feet Under had that hard combination of prissiness, courage and compassion...
I don't know... His role in Six Feet Under is forever etched in my mind and I wouldn't be able to see him as Bilbo without thinking that the unmarried and childless Bilbo is in fact gay.

Oh, the thought of Jack Black as Bilbo makes me shudder. But there's surely no truth behind these rumours, is there?
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:30 AM   #13
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I think MacAvoy would do a good job as Bilbo, I think he has the right kind of look for a Hobbit. Though it might be better for continuity sake to get someone who looks more like Ian Holm, though they might be able to make MacAvoy look that way with makeup and such.
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:25 AM   #14
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Whatever Bilbo's age, in the Hobbit he is an odd combination of a confirmed bachelor and a childlike figure - carried around on piggy-back by the dwarves when he gets tired and so on - so he should have an air of vulnerability. I think in that case they could do a lot worse than McAvoy.
I can't remember the bloke from Six Feet Under, I'll have a look.

But I really couldn't be having with Wood as Frodo. He was way *too* child-like and vulnerable, even for a Shire halfling, and besides which, LotR Frodo was not really much like Bilbo in the Hobbit.
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:08 PM   #15
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Thumbs up

McAvoy is brilliant. I might never look at Bilbo the same way again... but I also might not care. I think it would be a great choice.
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:08 PM   #16
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I've never seen Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe but I have seen McAvoy in Atonement and he did a really good job in it. Judging from his acting abilities in that movie, it seems like he would be an alright choice for TH. Jack Black? I just hope they aren't serious...they would probably get the same response from fans that they did when Arwen was supposed to show up at Helm's Deep.
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:26 PM   #17
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I despise Jack Black. No, let me take that back -- despising someone means you actually cared about the individual on some level at some time. I do not care for Jack Black.
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:42 PM   #18
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McAvoy is brilliant. I might never look at Bilbo the same way again... but I also might not care. I think it would be a great choice.
My dear Lush, how good-- how very good!-- it is to see you again. I do hope all is quite well with you.

So you think McAvoy would be worth choosing. I shall reconsider...

Hmmm. Bilbo Tumnus Baggins. Biltum Baggins. Bilbo Tumbaggins.

I'm just not feeling it, you know?

Biltum Bagnus. Tumbo Nussgins.

Augh. I just can't. And not for want of trying. Can he be made up to look like Bilian Holmgins, do you think?
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by lalaith
Whatever Bilbo's age, in the Hobbit he is an odd combination of a confirmed bachelor and a childlike figure - carried around on piggy-back by the dwarves when he gets tired and so on - so he should have an air of vulnerability.
A good movie to see of Mcavoy's acting both strong and vulnerablility is "I'm dancing inside" aka "Rory O'Shea was here".
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:11 AM   #20
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But it's essential to Bilbo's character that he is *middle-aged*: set in his ways, unwilling to adapt- the tension with *having* to adapt (in so many ways) is the mainspring of the story. A Bildungsroman with no Youth.

McAvoy is just too bloody young.

(Btw, 50 is 50. Hobbits don't mature any more slowly than we do).
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:30 AM   #21
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But it's essential to Bilbo's character that he is *middle-aged*: set in his ways, unwilling to adapt- the tension with *having* to adapt (in so many ways) is the mainspring of the story. A Bildungsroman with no Youth.
As I noted earlier, 50 years is a term that echoes throughout Beowulf (Hrothgar has ruled Denmark for 50 years when Grendel first turns up, Grendel's Mother has also ruled her own realm for the same period, & possibly most significantly in Bilbo's case, after his return from Denmark Beowulf rules his people in prosperity for exactly 50 years before the Dragon is aroused & he must begin his journey to face it (let's recall it was Tolkien's original intention that Bilbo slay Smaug). Its been pointed up a few times that the whole of TH could be read as an ironic take on Beowulf - the three trolls a kind of tri-partite Grendel, Gollum in his underwater cave-realm equivalent to Grendel's Mother, & Smaug being, well, the Dragon.

However, the idea that a mainstream Hollywood movie, aimed at a 17 year old male demographic (the average US movie-goer, apparently), is going to have a 50 year old hero is out of the question. We got an 18 year-old Frodo, & we'll get a Bilbo who'll look about the same, 'cos that's what the audiences want.
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:07 AM   #22
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Hobbits don't mature any more slowly than we do
Yes they do. They officially come of age at thirty-three, rather than 18 or twenty-one as we do. They live for around 120 years rather than four-score and ten.
So Bilbo is around 17 hobbit-years past coming of age. McEvoy is thirty. So I think that's not too bad at all, nowhere near as inappropriate as Eliljah Wood and co.
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:09 AM   #23
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Yes they do. They officially come of age at thirty-three, rather than 18 or twenty-one as we do. They live for around 120 years rather than four-score and ten.
Have you been following this thread?

JRRT rather wryly postulated 33 as legal age because (in his professorial view) 21-year-old humans aren't remotely mature yet, and Hobbits are sensible enough to realize it.

(and hobbits typically only reach 100, not 120).
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:34 AM   #24
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Have you been following this thread?
Why, what makes you think I haven't?

Look, I don't want to get caught up in a pedantic squabble, but a race who "typically" reach 100 are clearly maturing more slowly than humans.
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:49 PM   #25
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If a race of beings, come to adulthood at about 33 and have an average life expectancy of 100 - I do not think it is somehow unfair or unwise to conclude that the standard of youth and adulthood applied to them should be different than that of todays humans.
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:18 PM   #26
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Oh, boy, the same argument over and over.

Quick: when were the Dunedain 'adult'? And how long did they live?

'Coming of age' was a *legal* definition. Not a biological one.
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:31 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Knight of Gondor
Other actors mentioned were Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe and (oh gag) Jack Black.
Oh no...while I do like Jack Black in some movies, the idea of him playing Bilbo makes me sick. It's just not right...and it'd ruin the whole film. As for Daniel Radcliffe, that's an awful idea as well. Not only is he way too young, but he's simply not a spectacular actor. Besides, while he does need a chance to get away from Harry Potter stuff, the dumbest thing to do is to move from playing one popular literary character straight to another. If he were to play Bilbo, I could just see audience pointing at the screen saying, "Look, Harry Potter is Bilbo!" Good God, no.

But when it comes to James McAvoy, I think he could be an excellent choice. He does seem a little young, but he certainly does have a hobbitish look about him and plus he's a great actor. When it comes to the whole age debate here, let me remind you it is typical Hollywood for when it comes to children for the actor to be older than the character, and when it comes to adults for actor to be younger than the character. That's just how it is whether you like it or not...so I really doubt we can expect an actor who is 50 to play Bilbo. Anyways, I agree with some others here that I've always imagined hobbits to look about 10 years younger than their age due to their longer life expectancy.

I posted this on another thread before, but if you're looking for a Bilbo who looks like Ian Holm, I would recommend Liev Schreiber. I love him as both a director and actor, and I actually think he'd be a wonderful Bilbo. He'd be my first choice, but as it doesn't look like he's being considered, I will still be perfectly happy if James McAvoy is chosen..
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Old 06-01-2008, 04:39 PM   #28
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Nope

Jack Black has denied that he is the Riddle Maker ie Biblo. See http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2008/05/31...ot-play-bilbo/


Also over in one of the threads at OneRing.Net GDT stated the following:

We will not choose casting until after we finish the scripts. Period. So, no- No talks are bound to take place with any actor to play Bilbo in the near future. Pages come first. And, in another comment: When its a fact- Youll hear it from me first- and, very likely, right here.
http://newboards.theonering.net/foru...102740;#102740

Also:
casting is not closed... at all- we will not choose casting until after we finish the scripts. Period.
So, no- No talks are bound to take place with any actor to play Bilbo in the near future. Pages come first.
Some of the stuff reported there is just a tad too insane...

Best
GDT

http://newboards.theonering.net/foru...102704;#102704

everything we shared yesterday is "What we know..." while PJ and the gang finish LOVELY BONES and Your Truly finishes this insane enterprise that is HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY. Im in London until late June and won't go to NZ until Late July.

So much can change. But so much is being done to assure the best we can do...

Yr Obt Svt

GDT

http://newboards.theonering.net/foru...101653;#101653

Anyway, if I remember correctly from somewhere script writing won't start until after GDT is in NZ and settled. I think that means end of the year or most likely next year before the script is done. Thus though they may know who they want for Bilbo, I'm not sure that means they are in negotiations or will be until after the script is done or close to being done. We'll see, but I think outside of knowing Gandalf (Sir Ian M.), Gollum (Andy S.) and Aragorn (Viggo M.) the rest will have to wait until the script is done. So it is fun to speculate but that it is what it is until speculation is ended with the official announcement.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:07 AM   #29
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I don't know... His role in Six Feet Under is forever etched in my mind and I wouldn't be able to see him as Bilbo without thinking that the unmarried and childless Bilbo is in fact gay.
Oh come on, he is an actor. Playing a role, seemingly very well.
If you could believe in him as a heterosexual actor playing a homosexual character, and presumably don't believe him a RL serial killer for his role in Dexter, then why can you not accept him as Bilbo whose sexuality is irrelevant?

After all to say Ian McKellen is openly gay is the understatement of the century (the love that dare not speak its name has truly become the love that won't shut up in his case), do you see Gandalf as gay? Of course for me the difference is that I never managed to suspend my disbelief and accept McKellen as Gandalf.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:02 PM   #30
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Oh come on, he is an actor. Playing a role, seemingly very well. If you could believe in him as a heterosexual actor playing a homosexual character, and presumably don't believe him a RL serial killer for his role in Dexter, then why can you not accept him as Bilbo whose sexuality is irrelevant?
Haven't really watched Dexter. The thing is, some things are just hard to accept, often for emotional reasons that can't be supported by rationality. I've nothing against gays or Michael C. Hall (he is a very good actor), I just don't want him to see him play Bilbo for the said reason.

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d o you see Gandalf as gay?
Could be. He is unmarried. No love interests are ever recorded. Also a clever linguist who clearly takes good care of his body, looking at least half his age. Could very well be.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:11 PM   #31
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Could be. He is unmarried. No love interests are ever recorded. Also a clever linguist who clearly takes good care of his body, looking at least half his age. Could very well be.
Well, I don't thin so, but you never know. But we never hear about Bilbo. "Could very well be" as skip spence just said.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:22 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Enw View Post
Well, I don't thin so, but you never know. But we never hear about Bilbo. "Could very well be" as skip spence just said.
Ah, but to quote the Unfinished Tales:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalf
"He was already growing a bit queer, they said"
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:34 PM   #33
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If Gandalf looked half his age .... would he not be a pile of dust?
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:36 PM   #34
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Ah, yes, I didn't think of that Aganzir.

And from FoTR:

Quote:
Originally Posted by A long expected party
Bag end's a queer place, and its folk are queerer.
All I can say is lucky for Sam (or maybe Rose, in fact) that he didn't live in Bag End at that time.

Anyway, I think we're (mostly me) getting off topic here.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:45 PM   #35
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Don't forget "Queer lodgings"

And of course Buckland "where folks are so queer" Presumably to "live on the wrong side of the Brandywine" is a Hobbit euphemism for an alternative lifestyle.
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:40 PM   #36
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The Eye Off topic and chatty

This is way, way off topic. The personal lives of actors and how they affect your view of their portrayal of characters should be discussed outside the barrow, especially when it devolves into chatty wordplay.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:02 AM   #37
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mark! It's good to see you again too. It's been too long.

McAvoy is not only young, he looks young. This guy's almost 30, and he easily play a high-schooler. But he has an amazing chameleon aspect to him:\

"Last King of Scotland"
"The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"
"Starter For 10"
"Atonement"
"Becoming Jane"
etc.

He highly versatile. He can play a drink-addled, corrupt, cowardly doctor, a faun, a lovable nerd, a tragic hero, and a charming cad with a heart of gold, all very, very easily. I could see him as a convincing hobbit.

He may make me re-think hobbits altogether though. Everyone knows I've always preferred elves, and now this...
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:38 PM   #38
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I will NOT mention the term used for a bundle of wood in the book, I will NOT mention the term used for a bundle of wood in the book, I will NOT mention the term used for a bundle of wood in the book...

My main objection is that James McAvoy is simply too young. Black would be outside of his element (has anyone forgotten the desecration he dealt Fellowship of the Ring on that blasted MTV spoof?) and no Hogwarts boy wizard could possibly do the role justice.

I would like McAvoy for the role in, say, 30 years or so. I think he could, as Lush says (hi Lush! Long time no see!) play a hobbit. But not Bilbo.
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Old 06-06-2008, 02:29 PM   #39
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I liked Jack Black in "The Holiday" -- but agree that he wouldn't make a good Bilbo.

I've only seen McAvoy in Narnia and Becoming Jane... judging from those I wouldn't think of him as Hobbitish. But I did like him in both.

Of the name bandied about here, Michael C. Hall seems by far the most Bilbo-esque of the lot. At least, judging from his run on Six Feet Under. (I've yet to see Dexter.)
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:58 AM   #40
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Hi Knight! I agree that Jack Black would be the wrong choice. I think that he's a very intelligent, very funny man (he reminds me of the guys I hung out with in college), but I can't see him as Bilbo. I'm always up to being pleasantly surprised, but I think that this would be a disaster of Anakin Skywalker-sized proportions.

I love Michael C. Hall. He's a hilarious, brave actor and he has amazing range, and "Six Feet Under" was glorious. I'm not entirely sure that he can "carry" a vehicle like this - something that has nothing to do with his talent and looks, and everything to do with the way the big-budget marketing world works.

I'm sure that they will choose someone young, and devilishly cute, to play Bilbo. I can only hope that they will choose someone young, devilishly cute, and extremely talented. Which is why I hope they'd go for someone like McAvoy. Or an unknown dude.
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