The role of Bilbo Baggins has been cast…

Striving to contradict the rumors that production of The Hobbit is in trouble, Guillermo Del Toro went ahead and made the big announcement today.

Lord of the Rings fans had been anticipating that the lead role of Bilbo Baggins would be drawn from a short list of names, including Tobey Maguire and Martin Freeman. Some were still hoping that Ian Holm would take the role, and that special effects could make him look younger than he did in The Fellowship of the Ring. (Remember how Gandalf visits Bilbo in Fellowship and tells him, “You haven’t aged a day…”)

But today’s announcement has come as a shock to fans, and Shia Labeouf will have a tough time proving that Del Toro hasn’t made a terrible mistake.

Asked to comment, Lebeouf just shook his head in disbelief and said, “I’m as amazed as anybody else. It’s disorienting. I just keep saying, ‘What day is it?'”

In other news: I made a very big announcement on my Facebook page today.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Don't you hate these ugly click-bait ads? Visit for a bigger, better, ad-free version of Jeffrey Overstreet's blog. Jeffrey Overstreet is the senior film critic for Christianity Today, the author of Through a Screen Darkly and Auralia's Colors, and he teaches writing and film at Seattle Pacific University, Houston Baptist University, and Northwest University.

  • Ken Brown

    Seriously evil. I didn’t read this until today and didn’t notice the date at first…

    Good one!

  • Melissa

    Oh my lord, I almost had a heart attack! I think I was ready to explode. Haha, nice one though.

  • Jill

    Darn, you got me. But it wouldn’t be at all surprising if you get a book deal like that.

  • closerlooker

    Folks… yeah, okay, APRIL FOOL’S. On both The Hobbit and the book deal.

  • Stephen Henderson

    *HUGE sigh of relief* That was definitely the meanest one of the day, Overstreet!

  • tyler

    *Waiting for this to go viral next week*

  • Jill

    Jeffrey, giant “woo hoo’s” and congratulations to you on the book deal! Fantastic news!

  • Ryan

    *checks calendar*


    *breathes a sigh of relief*

  • Doug

    Ouch! This had better be an April Fool’s Day joke!!

  • William Murray

    Upon reading this my heart rate rose and I prepered to scream in horror. Then I remembered the date. Good one. Well played, Mr. Overstreet.