LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After solving murders in central London with "Sherlock" and traipsing through Middle Earth in "The Hobbit," actor Martin Freeman is heading into the Marvel universe, the Walt Disney Co-owned studio said on Tuesday.
Freeman, 43, who played Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit" trilogy and won an Emmy for his role as Dr. John Watson alongside Benedict Cumberbatch's crime-solving detective in BBC's popular "Sherlock" series, is joining the cast of "Captain America: Civil War."
It is not known yet what role he will play in Marvel Studios' third installment of "Captain America," in which Chris Evans will reprise his role as the patriotic superhero and is scheduled for release in May 2016.
"Martin's range from the dramatic to the comedic has consistently impressed us," said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios and producer of the films.
Marvel Studios has had a string of blockbuster hits with its cinematic superhero franchises. "Avengers: Age of Ultron," its latest film, has amassed $204 million in North America since its May 1 release.
In "Civil War," which will pick up the story from the end of "Age of Ultron," the superheroes will be forced to side with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) or Captain America as the two battle each other.
Freeman notably starred in the 2001 British mockumentary series "The Office" and more recently last year received Emmy nominations for his role as a cowed, small-town insurance salesman in FX's hit miniseries "Fargo."
Freeman's "Sherlock" co-star, Cumberbatch, will also be joining the Marvel universe as the complex lead of "Doctor Strange," scheduled for release in November 2016.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)