2009: The year of the Hobbit?

The film adaptation of The Hobbit, set to capitalise on the success of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, has been a project surrounded by arguments, namely between Jackson himself and Robert K Shaye, the co-chairman of New Line Cinema. Shaye was recently interviewed by the New York Times and Tolkien fans need not worry: everything is still on track for the film to be released in 2009.

Shaye didn't explicitly state that he wouldn't make The Hobbit with Jackson but did say "Some directors are impossible," in the interview. "Are there a few people I wouldn’t work with? Yes, but I won’t name names." He also refused to comment on rumours that Sam Raimi, who brought Spider-Man to the big screen so artfully, had been asked to take on the project. But even though there's still no workable script for the film, he still plans to have The Hobbit ready for release in two years' time. New Line have until 2008 to officially begin production, at which point their option will expire and the adaptation rights will revert to the Saul Zaentz Company, which currently owns Tolkien Enterprises.

Read the full interview with Shaye on the New York Times website here .