At the recent press junket for Spider-Man 3, Director Sam Raimi addressed talk about New Line Cinema's Bob Shaye approaching him to helm The Hobbit. Here's what Raimi had to say on the matter:

Might you do The Hobbit next?

Sam Raimi: The truth is, I just don't know what I'm going to do next. That's the most honest answer I can give you. I can't honestly say, even though I have spoken to Bob Shaye, I don't know that I can honestly say that anything's been offered to me until some time in the future, because it isn't exactly right, exactly true.

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So where are The Hobbit talks with Bob Shaye at?

Sam Raimi: I spoke to him once. It's a little overblown I think. That's why I don't want to pretend that it's bigger than it is. I had one conversation about the possibility of it and that's really where it's at.

Is there any fear in your mind that the fans are so attached to Peter Jackson's vision that you wonder, "How will they take me doing the project?" If you did go to the project is there any talk about getting some of the actors...

Sam Raimi: I haven't had any of those thoughts, yet, because I think it's still Peter Jackson's project. It'd be so premature. I'm so overwhelmed with my own insecurities, I can't take his on just yet. I'd have to burn through all my fears first. Then I'd have to know that he wasn't making the movie, and then it would have to be officially offered to me. Then I would be the first one to take on all those fears if all of those things would come to pass.

So you wouldn't take it on unless Peter Jackson said it was okay for you to take it on?

Sam Raimi: I'd have to know that he was okay with it. It's really his picture and Bob Shaye's picture. I hate to say that because I don't want to put him in some position where he's supposed to respond to me. I'm not even in a position where I want to ask him that. I guess I should say "No comment."

Spider-Man 3 swings into conventional theaters and IMAX on May 4 from Columbia Pictures.

Evan Jacobs