Stephen Colbert’s massive love of the fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien is well established. This is a man who, on an episode of the Colbert Report last year, explained the debt ceiling crisis using Lord of the Rings action figures. Then, if there was still any lingering question exactly how giant a nerd he really is, he whipped out “Aragorn’s sword Anduril, Flame of the West, forged from the shards of Narsil” just to show off to the audience that he had it. In a recent Playboy interview, Colbert gushed fanboy-ishly about his visit to the New Zealand set of The Hobbit and, when asked if he would make some sort of cameo, answered with a coy, “Could be.” Since then, reports citing unnamed sources have circulated suggesting Colbert will indeed have some kind of cameo in one of the later Hobbit movies. But, if so, what will he be? An elf? (He does have that one slightly elvish-looking ear.) A dwarf? A faux-conservative talk-show-hosting hobbit?
Well, EW has put the rumor swirling around a potential Colbert cameo directly to Hobbit director Peter Jackson—and Jackson isn’t denying it! Then again, he isn’t confirming it. “I read that, too—it was very, very interesting,” Jackson says, laughing. “It’s yet to be confirmed or denied.” Jackson will, however, confirm one thing: Colbert is a serious Tolkien fanatic: “I have never met a bigger Tolkien geek in my life,” Jackson says. “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. I have to say, his encyclopedic knowledge of Tolkien is spectacular, and points to a deprived childhood in some respects.”