While we're still not sure what Bilbo Baggins hates — other than chipped glasses, cracked plates, blunted knives and bent forks, of course — we're a bit closer to learning what Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson are looking for in their titular Hobbit.
A casting call for "The Hobbit," featuring breakdowns of several of the movie's main characters, is making the rounds online courtesy of Spoiler TV. Those of us who have already read J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved novel — or at least have seen that hilariously wonderful cartoon adaptation — already know a good deal about some of these characters, but it's nonetheless a treat to see the breakdowns in print.
Bilbo, for instance, is accurately described as a "well-to-do, respectable Hobbit," who has an unknown wealth of courage, sense of humor and practicality. Of all of these characteristics, Bilbo's strongest trait is "his humanity; he is empathetic with a big heart and generous spirit."
After reading the specifics of what Jackson and del Toro want out of Bilbo, it's clear that this role should go to an unknown, not somebody like Tobey Maguire. I think even James McAvoy is a bit overexposed for the part. This is a character that should really blossom from obscurity and surprise audiences with a healthy blend of bravery, joviality, caution and wide-eyed wonder. Maybe a prominent star could do the role justice — I'll hold out judgment in case the casting is truly inspired — but my gut is going with an unknown here.
The other casting breakdown that I'm most excited for is that of the great Thorin Oakenshield, who is described as "sharp eyed and sharp tongued, proud in his bearing and un-trusting of those he does not know" while also being "capable of intense loyalty, immense courage and surprising gentleness and humour."
Unlike Bilbo, I would love to see Thorin go to an established actor — not necessarily an A-lister, but somebody like Ray Winstone or Brian Cox, who is already rumored for a role in "The Hobbit." Cox might be a little old for the part, but the desired age range of early 40's to mid 50's keeps the playing field wide open for a variety of talented, known actors. This is definitely going to be a fun role to watch.
Check out the rest of the casting breakdowns, then tell us what you think in the comments section or on Twitter!