Nerd News: Dwarf Quits ‘The Hobbit;’ Bilbo Gets a Clone

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So hey, remember when The Hobbit was finally able to start shooting after getting delayed eight zillion times? Well, it's possible that it may be delayed again, because Rob Kazinsky, who had been playing the dwarf known as Fíli, has quit the film for personal reasons. Boo! But on the other hand, Sir Ian Holm has been confirmed as playing an older version of Bilbo at some point in the film. Hoorah!

I've got to admit that I find the quitting thing a mite strange. Given that the biggest thing on Kazinsky's resume up to this point was a three-year stint on the British soap EastEnders (this is kind of like being a major player on Days of Our Lives for most of your career), I feel like there probably would have had to be pretty damn big personal reasons to make you quit The Hobbit. That said, though, these personal reasons are also said to be family-related, and that I can understand. The Hobbitis a gig that's going to run everyone involved in it's lives for a good couple of years, which makes family issues– illnessed, deaths, births, whatever– a lot harder to deal with. If the issues are as pressing as those, up and moving to New Zealand for a couple of years could be a pretty bad idea.

And hey, the Mary Sue rightly points out that “Rob Kazinsky was cast as Fíli. Nobody cares about Fíli.” At the beginning of The Hobbit, Bilbo's house is invaded by thirteen dwarfs, most of which have two-syllable first names and no surnames to speak of. Fíli is one of those thirteen dwarfs, and in spite of the fact that he allegedly has the longest nose out of any of the dwarfs, it's unlikely that you'll be able to tell him apart from any of the others. Because there are THIRTEEN OF THEM. And a loss this early one probably won't be that big of a problem; after all, the role of Aragorn famously had to be recast right at the beginning of shooting for The Lord of the Rings, and that turned out just fine. Sure, it'll give everyone great big gigantic headaches as they try to rearrange the shooting schedule while they recast, but Fíli isn't that pivotal a role, so it'll probably all work out in the end. If Bret McKenzie hadn't already been cast as an elf, I would suggest calling him up. Maybe Jemaine Clement is free instead?

The news about Ian Holm is pretty awesome, though. Old Bilbo is so delightfully befuddled most of the time, and it'll be a lot of fun to see the character age from Martin Freeman to Ian Holm. He's got a fever, and the only cure… is more Old Bilbo.