Although this rumour has been around for a little while (since at least July 2nd, 2008, in fact), it seems that the idea is still alive and well - Sir Ian Holm, who by now is 77 years old (by my calculations), would be difficult to cast as the young Bilbo for The Hobbit. However, one idea was floated a year ago that he might narrate the story to some degree.
He's got a fantastic voice, and has certainly done his share of voice work - not least of which was the BBC dramatised audioplay version of Lord Of The Rings, where he voiced Frodo.
So, I was talking to someone today while while at the Weta Cave, for the Alan Lee autograph session (Alan Lee wins my personal "biggest smile on an artist" award, btw), when my unnamed contact (well, they had a name, but I won't mention it here for obvious reasons!) happened to drop Sir Ian Holm into the conversation as though it was all cut-and-dried, a matter-of-fact that Sir Ian Holm wouldn't need to return to NZ since he could do his voice recording anywhere on the planet
"Ah... and what voice work would that be?", I asked, to which they responded in a slightly puzzled tone "why, his Hobbit Narration voice work, of course? You did know, didn't you?"...
Erm, sure... well, I do now, I guess. My contact has been very often spot-on over the last five years, and I have no reason to doubt him this time.
So it sounds like Sir Ian Holm is at least as official as Hugo Weaving... ;)
Does it mean The Narrator is Bilbo? Yes. No. Who knows. Wait and see..!
- Jack M.