US comedian to appear in 'Hobbit' film

United States comedian and talk-show host Stephen Colbert will make an appearance in one of Peter Jackson's Hobbit films.

Hollywood news website The Hollywood Reporter quoted an unnamed source as saying Colbert (48) would make a cameo appearance in the second Hobbit film, Desolation of Smaug, due for release on December 13 next year.

Colbert is a massive fan of The Lord of the Rings, and he told Playboy magazine he spent time in New Zealand this year to film his scene.

"Peter Jackson invited me to the set last year," he said in the latest issue of the magazine. "I flew out and watched them shoot some scenes and went to some locations. I saw a 25-minute cut, and it was amazing."

Another star who made a cameo in one of Jackson's Rings films is Flight of the Conchords' performer Bret McKenzie as the elf Figwit. His fleeting appearance sparked fan sites dedicated to the character, and led to a bigger role for McKenzie in the Hobbit films - as a different character.

The first Hobbit film, An Unexpected Journey, is due out on December 14.