Tobey Maguire Addresses Those 'Hobbit' Rumors On The 'Nine' Premiere Red Carpet

Earlier this week, a rumor surfaced that Tobey Maguire's people were in the preliminary stages of discussing the actor taking on the role of Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit" with the film's producers. Many fans weren't so keen on the idea, but the rumor seemed viable enough given that it came out on the day "Hobbit" casting was supposed to start. Then we heard late yesterday from The Hollywood Reporter that the rumor was maybe not so true after all. Well MTV's Josh Horowitz ran into Maguire last night on the red carpet at the premiere of director Nine." Here's what the "Spider-Man" star had to tell us...

"I don't believe I've ever met ['Hobbit' director] Guillermo del Toro," he said. "So... that is some kind of false rumor." Interesting.

If you read Maguire's words literally, what he's actually saying is that he's never met del Toro. Of course, if the actor's agent really is taking the first steps in this process, then it's entirely possible that the two haven't yet crossed paths.

That may be reading into things a bit too deeply though. Maguire certainly hasn't been shy about euthanizing this rumor before it gets out of control. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, he said, "I don’t know if something got misconstrued or miscommunicated but the source was not accurate at all."

Here's my read on things. The word is that "Hobbit" casting officially kicked off on December 14, the same day the rumor emerged. Maguire's people likely did let slip the fact that they're in the "early talks" stage, which could simply mean that a call has been placed. As we've often seen, rumors can be a useful public relations play; perhaps the anonymous agency source put the word out in the hopes that it would develop into something more concrete.

Alternatively, it could just be a completely unfounded or misconstrued rumor. We'll likely never know the truth.

Either way, Maguire is certainly open to stepping up if he gets a call from del Toro et al. As he told THR, "I love Guillermo del Toro and ['Hobbit' producer] Peter Jackson, and I certainly wouldn’t take myself out of the conversation... if I was part of it. But I haven’t read a script or talked to anybody about it."

Did you put much stock in this rumor to begin with? Are you relieved that Maguire is not, in fact, in the running for Bilbo Baggins (as of now)? Who would you like to see in the Bilbo role?