Peter Jackson is man who knows what he wants when he makes a film, and he is quite stubborn about it. The carried over after he directed The Lord of the Rings trilogy and into The Hobbit. According to Jackson, there was only one man who could play the young Bilbo Baggins from The Shire, and that man was Martin Freeman. Peter Jackson wanted him so badly, he shifted the whole production of the films to accommodate him. Freeman says Guillermo del Toro, originally slated to direct the films, gave him a note saying the role was his to lose. All seemed lost when his Sherlock schedule became an obstacle. When Jackson replaced del Toro, he got a surprising call from his agent:
"I remember going — along with half of Britain — on tape for it. And when I arrived in the casting room…there was a note from Guillermo del Toro, who at the time was slated to direct.
…And then I got a call from [my agent] who said there's been a change of plan. Peter Jackson has rearranged the schedule of The Hobbit around you, so that you can start The Hobbit, then go off and do Sherlock and then finish The Hobbit again." Freeman continued, "That was an amazing thing to hear, because talk about a vote of confidence. He could have had a lot of people doing Bilbo Baggins, and the fact that he had that much faith in me, that was astonishing really. And the fact that he could move a schedule as titanic as that was going to be and a production, which does not move quickly, was kind of amazing. And I felt like an extremely lucky person."
Just goes to show, no matter what you think of those three Hobbit films, that when the right person for the role is there, other directors should take note of what Peter Jackson did and make the film you want to make.
First seen on The Hollywood Reporter