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From the Office to the Shire

Well, it's finally happening. After years of being rumoured, cancelled, re-rumoured, gaining directors, losing directors, and generally causing all involved to lose the will to live, the two Lord of the Rings prequels based on Tolkien's The Hobbit are green-lit and good to go.

(Greenlit is movie-speak for 'funded and ready to start pre-production'. Don't get too excited, Hobbit fans - they won't be out for years.)

Perhaps most exciting, though, is the choice of lead. For Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit who the story centres around - played as an old man by Ian Holm in The Fellowship of the Ring - is to be played by none other than.... drum roll... oh hang on, you know already, you've seen the picture.... Martin Freeman!

Yes, the hero of the Office - and recent co-star of the super-popular new Sherlock - is to strap on the big hairy Hobbit feet. It's his biggest role to date, and we reckon could catapult him into Hollywood. (He'd have to do better than Ricky Gervais has, really.)

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