Now that we’ve got the news we’ve been waiting for and Peter Jackson is ready to forge ahead with The Hobbit, what concerns us are the names being bandied around in the casting whirligig about to ensue.

Martin Freeman, known to most as one of Ricky Gervais’ Office mates, was rumoured for the role of Bilbo Baggins but his work with the BBC’s Sherlock was a potential obstacle to him accepting the role. While no official announcement has been made Deadline have this to say,

Word is Martin Freeman will soon be set to play Bilbo Baggins, that Jimmy Nesbitt has been offered a role and that Michael Fassbender is being pursued for another as is David Tennant. Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis are expected to reprise Gandalf and Gollum

And our friends at Bleeding Cool dug a little deeper and have this update on James Nesbitt,

his part will be that of Bofur. His brother Bombur and cousin Bifur are also amongst the cast of characters.

It’s shaping up to be another sterling cast for Jackson’s return to Middle Earth, and I’m guessing we’ll hear more, with maybe an official confirmation or two, sooner rather than later.

Until then, here’s Leonard Nimoy.