Peter Jackson has been searching for the right faces to appear in The Hobbit in LA, New York and London this week. Perhaps this confirms rumours about his directorship of the film?

Those waiting in endless cinematic limbo for the decision of who’s directing The Hobbit may see this as a strong sign Jackson will be taking it up. Visiting various locations, he’s been scouting actors and actresses personally, and “quietly meeting” with them. I think it’s a stealth move towards a major announcement, don’t you?

The important side to his little overseas jaunt is that The Hobbit seems to definitely be moving towards the production stage. This comes after years of back-and-forth discussions, rumours about directors, and people wondering whether the film would ever see the light of day.

Obviously we won’t be seeing Ian Holm playing Bilbo Baggins as he did in Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. But hopefully Ian McKellen will make a welcome return as Gandalf the Grey. Apart from that, many of the faces you’ll be seeing this time around are different, and it’ll be good to see a new generation of Tolkien actors.

So, choices, people – who do you want to see playing who? Personally, I’d want McKellen for Gandalf, and someone squat and adorably lost-looking for Bilbo himself. It’s a shame Sean Astin already took the part of Samwise Gamgee in LOTR – he’d be a perfect fit considering how well he embodied the worried Sam. Comment with your own choices, all!

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