Buried in an interview by The Telegraph with Watchmen actor Matthew Goode is the following nugget of information:
Now he’s a father, Goode doesn’t even like travelling that much. But just before we met, he’d auditioned for the role of Bilbo Baggins in Guillermo del Toro’s two-part film of The Hobbit. As he is the first to admit, he’s not an obvious choice – ‘Look at the size of me for Christ’s sake!’ If he got the part, he would, he says, find it almost impossible to refuse – despite the fact that it would involve him spending several months in New Zealand.
Goode stands at 6ft 2 inches, so he’s not exactly the ideal size for a Hobbit. The four actors who played Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings were no taller than 5′ 7, and Peter Jackson had to use children and other small people (along with clever camera angles) to represent their size during scenes with the other actors. I think Matthew Goode would be an ideal candidate to play an Elf.
Assuming the interview was recent, this means del Toro and Jackson are still looking for their Bilbo. In August last year Ian McKellen said he knew who would be playing Bilbo, which means that they could have cast someone and it hadn’t worked out or McKellen had got a bit ahead of himself. Either way we should be hearing who will be donning the Hobbit feet in the upcoming months, as filming is expected to begin in summer.