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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My 10,000th Tweet is An Announcement.
An Unexpected Pleasure: Snow White and the Huntsman
Number 10,000
The most rebellious album I've heard all year.
About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • 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.