According to 'The Lord of the Rings' fansite TheOneRing.Net, 'Spider-Man' helmer Sam Raimi has been approached to direct 'The Hobbit'.

Last week it emerged that Peter Jackson, director of 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, had received a letter from New Line Cinema informing him that the film studio would no longer be requiring his services on 'The Hobbit' and another planned 'LOTR' prequel.

New Line are now said to be actively looking for another director.

Raimi first made his name with 1981's low-budget horror classic 'The Evil Dead'. His latest film, 'Spider-Man 3', is due out next year.