Writer/director Sam Raimi confirmed to SCI FI Wire that he has spoken with New Line Cinema honcho Robert Shaye about helming The Hobbit, a Lord of the Rings prequel film based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s book, but only once and only informally. “I spoke to him once, so it’s a little more overblown, I think,” Raimi said in a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., over the weekend while promoting his upcoming Spider-Man 3. “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.” As for his interest in the film, Raimi repeated that he would only sign on with the OK of Peter Jackson, the Rings director who has been blacklisted by New Line as a result of a lawsuit over Rings revenues. “I’d have to know that he was OK with it,” Raimi said. “It’s really his picture and Bob Shaye’s picture.” [More]