Sir Peter Jackson is keeping mum over comedian and talk show host Stephen Colbert's reported cameo in the forthcoming Hobbit trilogy.
But he does confirm something we already know - Colbert is a mad JRR Tolkien fanatic.
The Hollywood Reporter, quoting an unnamed, but "knowledgeable" source, last week claimed that the Colbert Report host will make an appearance in the franchise.
Although there was no word on what role he would play or if he would be an extra, the website reported that Colbert would not be in the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which premieres in Wellington on November 28.
His cameo will either be in the second film, The Desolation of Smaug, scheduled for release on December 13, 2013 or in the third film, There and Back Again, scheduled for July 18, 2014.
In an interview in Playboy's November issue, Colbert, a self-proclaimed Tolkien fan since childhood, hinted he might be heading for Middle-earth.
"Peter Jackson invited me to the set last year," he told the mag of his visit to the New Zealand set.
"I flew out and watched them shoot some scenes and went to some locations. I saw a 25-minute cut, and it was amazing. Jackson knows I'm a big fan of the films."
Asked by the interviewer if he would be making a cameo, Colbert smiled and said: "Could be."
'IT'S YET TO BE CONFIRMED OR DENIED'
Hobbit helmer Jackson has since been asked to address the Colbert casting rumours - and he's giving nothing away.
"I read that, too - it was very, very interesting," he told Entertainment Weekly. "It's yet to be confirmed or denied."
Jackson said of Colbert: "I have never met a bigger Tolkien geek in my life. Philippa Boyens is our resident Tolkien expert, and when Stephen came down to visit the set, we put him head to head with Philippa on a Tolkien quiz - and Stephen triumphed."
He jokingly added: "I have to say, his encyclopedic knowledge of Tolkien is spectacular, and points to a deprived childhood in some respects."
Check out the second trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey here.
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