I tried to read The Hobbit when I was a kid, but I gave up when I realized I was 100 pages in and still reading about a tea party. I know I'll ruffle some capes out there, but I never understood the appeal. I'm in the minority though, and the little story is stirring up all kinds of excitement in Hollywood. Peter Jackson was expected to direct the film version, but a public battle with Bob Shaye and New Line killed that. After much speculation, an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly confirms that none other than Sam Raimi is now "seriously interested" in directing the adaptation. On the short list of directors that make geeks (and I mean that term affectionately) universally happy, Jackson and Raimi are probably at the top, so this should surely please hardcore Hobbit-heads.

Raimi, who apparently didn't see King Kong, tells EW: "Peter Jackson might be the best filmmaker on the planet right now. But, um, I don't know what's going to happen next for me right now. First and foremost, those are Peter Jackson and Bob Shaye's films. If Peter didn't want to do it, and Bob wanted me to do it -- and they were both okay with me picking up the reigns -- that would be great. I love the book. It's maybe a more kid-friendly story than the others." So, there it is. Raimi is being very respectful here, and he's using a lot of "ifs," but I can only imagine New Line would be delighted to have Raimi behind the wheel. The only drawback is what this could mean for Spider-Man 4.