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The Hobbit Casting News: Martin Freeman, Jimmy Nesbitt, Michael Fassbender, David Tennant, Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis

Deadline is reporting that Martin Freeman will likely land the role of Bilbo Baggins in the two-part ‘Lord of the Rings’ prequel The Hobbit.

The site also adds that Jimmy Nesbitt has been offered a role in the project, with Michael Fassbender and David Tennant being pursued for other roles. Additionally, Ian McKellan and Andy Serkis are both expected to reprise their roles as Gandalf and Gollum, respectively.

As previously reported, production on the two-part 3D film is expected to get underway next February, with a rumored December 19, 2012 release date for ‘Part 1’.