Just who will play the role of Bilbo Baggins in Guillermo del Toro’s The Hobbit is spilling a lot of Internet ink these days. A few weeks ago, Tobey Maguire was rumored as a possibility but he ultimately denied that anyone had even contacted him about the part. When he and Sam Raimi walked away from the “Spider-Man” franchise last week (with a new director, the appropriately-named Marc Webb, stepping in), Maguire’s name surfaced once again. This time, however, both del Toro and producer Peter Jackson piped up to say there was no truth at all to the rumor. Then another candidate popped up in the form of David Tennant. This has yet to be confirmed but the British Tennant, who is perhaps better known to UK audiences as one of the most recent actors to play Doctor Who in the cult series, has been generating a lot of buzz and is now looking focus on his movie career. Earlier this week, Tennant dropped out of Jon Landis’ upcoming Burke & Hare, but no reason was given. If it were in fact to concentrate on The Hobbit, the shifts would be rather serendipitous because it looks like Andy Serkis (who played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies) has replaced Tennant in Burke & Hare.
Sean Penn, who we wrote about a few weeks ago as possibly having come back to the Farrelly brothers’ The Three Stooges project, is quickly filling his dance card, if reports are to be believed, that is. The actor, along with heartthrob du century Robert Pattinson, is said to be circling Water for Elephants. The film, which Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) is attached to direct, is based on a best-selling historical novel by Sara Gruen. The book is set during the Great Depression and tells the story of a Cornell University veterinary student who leaves his studies after his parents are killed, and joins up with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, working as a vet for the circus. Reese Witherspoon is also attached to star.
In actual fact, there hasn’t been much big casting news in the past week or so. Whether that has anything to do with the fact that most folks have been focused either on the Haiti disaster or the latenight disaster over at NBC, is hard to call. But, today there was news about a different Conan, who nevertheless has equally compelling hair. The dreadlocked Jason Mamoa has been set to star as the warrior "Conan the Barbarian" in an upcoming film. Momoa, part of the "Stargate: Atlantis" ensemble, also stars in HBO's "Game of Thrones" and earlier in his career appeared in "Baywatch Hawaii." According to Internet reports, an offer has gone out to Mickey Rourke to play Conan's father.