‘Who’ Could Be Bilbo In ‘The Hobbit’

Rumor alert! You’ve been warned; continue reading at your own risk. The rumblings around the Internets indicate that fans who have been patiently waiting for word from Guillermo del Toro on “The Hobbit” will get their wish next week at San Diego Comic-Con. We already learned from the director during a recent interview that he is “very close” to announcing his pint-sized lead. Next week would certainly fall into the bounds of “very close.”

The Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex blog mentions that David Tennant, James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe are all rumored to be up for the role. To me, Radcliffe seems like a longshot at best. While I’m sure the legions of “Harry Potter” fans out there would like to see The Boy Who Lived wear the One Ring, my guess is that the still-young actor may want to break away from the fantasy mold once J.K. Rowling’s series is complete. Then again, there are those many millions of basically assured “Hobbit” dollars to consider….

James McAvoy is more likely. You may remember him as the star of “Wanted,” or as Mr. Tumnus in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” He also had major roles in both “Atonement” and “The Last King of Scotland.” I’m not so sure that his look is right for the part, but then I’m probably bringing some bias to my thinking after seeing Ian Holm’s portrayal of Bilbo in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

The most likely possibility at this point seems to be David Tennant, who is already confirmed as a Comic-Con attendee as he bids farewell to his starring run on the “Doctor Who” TV series. If he’s moving on to his next big thing — and I think most of us will agree that “things” don’t get much bigger than “The Hobbit” — a San Diego announcement would be a little bit of perfect timing. Perhaps too perfect, which is why I think Tennant is such a strong possibility.

The Hero Complex piece also mentions Jack Black as a possible casting choice, though the possibility is raised that the rumor may just be a far-fetched joke. I’ve got nothing at all against Black — hell, the first Tenacious D album still gets regular play on my headphones — but I think I’ll have to abandon the Tolkien adaptations all together if he somehow lands the Bilbo role.

What do you make of these “Hobbit” possibilities”? Who would you like to see play Bilbo? Radcliffe? McAvoy? Tennant? …Black?