BBC America(link below) insinuates director Jackson must have chosen his Hobbit cast from their tv schedule, which of course included all 3 seasons of the latest update of Robin Hood. Did Sir Guy have a Thorin Oakenshield aura about him? ;)
Hometown boy makes good coverage: http://blogs.coventrytelegraph.net/thegeekfiles/2010/10/martin-freeman-and-richard-arm.html
Accompanying pix of choice for most articles seem to be of the former growling prince of leather..
Jackson has cast several other significant Dwarf characters. Richard Armitage (MI-5 and Captain America: The First Avenger) will play Thorin Oakenshield, leader of the Company of Dwarves which sets off to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from a thieving dragon. Aidan Turner (Being Human) and Rob Kazinsky (EastEnders) will play Kili and Fili, members of the Company of Dwarves. Graham McTavish (Secretariat) will play Dwalin, John Callen (Power Rangers Jungle Fury) will play Oin; Stephen Hunter (All Saints) will play Bombur, and Mark Hadlow (King Kong) plays Dori, while Peter Hambleton (The Strip) will play Gloin. That casting has just beginning, and there will be many more opportunities for the kind of career-changing roles that went in the original trilogy to the likes of Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood and Sean Astin. None of this is set, but I've heard that James Nesbitt and David Tennant are up for roles, and that Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis are expected to reprise Gandalf and Gollum, though I don't believe they have made deals. Stephen Fry, Saoirse Ronan and Bill Nighy (as the voice of the dragon Smaug) are possible participants, and Aiden Turner is in contention for the Elf King.
"Despite the various rumors and speculation surround this role, there has only ever been one Bilbo Baggins for us," Peter Jackson said. There are a few times in your career when you come across an actor who you know was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin. He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave -- exactly like Bilbo and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit."
Of Armitage, Jackson said: "Richard is one of the most exciting and dynamic actors working on screen today and we know he is going to make an amazing Thorin Oakenshield. We cannot wait to start this adventure with him and feel very lucky that one of the most beloved characters in Middle Earth is in such good hands."...
hahaha...at first glance, there's not enough makeup in Hollywood to make this transformation happen...meet Thorin Oakenshield...blue eyes are the only similarity:)
Starting to see a stronger resemblance in the next one..right around the nose area..along with that determined gaze..brilliant blue eyes,wig,beard..a few wrinkles*gasp* and he's Thorin Oakenshield..
[UPDATE: evidently there are upcoming scheduled talks between studio execs & NZ government, so it's possible the sheep might need to move elsewhere;]
Apparently The Hobbit will not be filmed in New Zealand due to union wrangling problems. Instead, Middle Earth will come to life in the former Harry Potter studios in Watford, Hertfordshire, UK...A rather sad photo of the abandoned hobbit holes in NZ...sheep have already moved in :) Article link below..
Jackson sounds highly po'd...really can't blame him when you read the details.
Stumbled upon passage from The Hobbit describing dwarves such as Thorin..
>The most that can be said for the dwarves is this: they intended to pay Bilbo really handsomely for his services; they had brought him to do a nasty job for them, and they did not mind the poor little fellow doing it if he would; but they would all have done their best to get him out of trouble, if he got into it...There it is: dwarves are not heroes, but calculating folk with a great idea of the value of money; some are tricky and treacherous and pretty bad lots; some are not, but are decent enough people like Thorin and Company, if you don't expect too much. (Chapter 12)<Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10030085-16.html#ixzz138m6d95N
Very detailed biography of Thorin follows..the name means 'daring'..will he wear a Viking-like helmet? http://www.tuckborough.net/thorin.html
Above is Thorin at the Lonely Mountain by Alan Lee
Someone has already imagined the transformation from hunk to hobbit dwarf. This time we might not hear the usual breathless "leather gloves" exclamations;)
Musa suggested perhaps dwarves in leather could heighten the hunk factor. Believe she's on the right track;)
Excerpt from Thorin's wikipedia page:>In the upcoming two-part adaptation of The Hobbit (to be released December 2012 and December 2013), Thorin Oakenshield will be played by Richard Armitage.
 Names and titles: Tolkien borrowed Thorin's name from the Old Norse poem Völuspá, part of the Poetic Edda. The name "Thorin" (Þorinn) appears in stanza 12, where it is used for a dwarf, and the name "Oakenshield" (Eikinskjaldi) in stanza 13.<