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Exclusive: McKellen IS Gandalf
Sir Ian confirms wizard's return

22 July 2008  |  Written by Glen Ferris  

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After months of speculation, the cinematic legend that is Sir Ian McKellen has confirmed that he is indeed preparing to dust off his grey wizard robes and cultivate himself a long, flowing beard to play Gandalf in Guillermo Del Toro’s adaptation of The Hobbit.

Speaking at a special screening of The Dark Knight at London’s Imax cinema on Monday night, he said: "Well, I haven’t had the contract yet but it’s everyone’s intention that I play Gandalf so yes, I will be returning to the role. Although it’s not until 2010, I’m very much excited about returning.”

While the dotted line has yet to be formally signed upon, Sir Ian has spoken at length with Del Toro about the Lord Of The Rings prequels and he’s seemingly very happy at the idea of making the journey back to Middle Earth - albeit with a new director at the helm.

“Well, if you’re not going to have Peter Jackson, who else can handle the job? To get an international film-maker of his standing who adores the original trilogy, well I don’t think you could possibly find a better replacement,” he said. “I think the look will be very much as it was, Weta is still involved, it’s still the same workshops, the same designers, I’ll be there, Andy Serkis (now confirmed to return as Gollum) will be there and Peter Jackson will still be around - not that he’ll interfere too much - so it’ll seem like the old family is getting back together again.”

Watch this space for all the latest development from The Hobbit.


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Your Comments

Great news! Can't imagine anyone else in the role. More

Posted by joey77 at 10:25 on 26 July 2008 | Report This Post

mckellen is awesome and seriously can you see anyone else that could play gandalf with such awesomness?! i think not More

Posted by vivlitherland at 13:45 on 23 July 2008 | Report This Post

COOL
SEXYTIME. More

Posted by danbo1138 at 22:32 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

RE:
L: clarkkent he;s too old? Anyone see the opening of X men 3? sp; Exactly, make up and CGI people, this is Hollywood were talking about after all. More

Posted by kinge247 at 19:18 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

he;s too old? Anyone see the opening of X men 3? More

Posted by clarkkent at 15:05 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Exclusive: McKellen IS Gandalf
I can't imagine the Hobbit ever going ahead without McKellen 'returning' as Gandalf. They'd lose a lot of kudos if they used someone else when he practically owns that role. More

Posted by Jessica_ca_ca_ca at 14:28 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Exclusive: McKellen IS Gandalf
Good news. Not exactly surprising, but very pleasing nonetheless. More

Posted by Kazuya at 13:16 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Too old?
L: genlock Gandalf was already extremely old by the time of the Hobbit. He'll be playing a Gandalf who's only several years younger than the Gandlaf of LotR, which is neglectable considering Gandalf is supposed to be several hundred years oldtime of The Hobbit Gandalf would be 60 years younger than he was at the start of LotR. Granted, the wizards do age extremely slowly so the difference wouldn't have been that great although in the book Frodo does note that he looks somewhat worse for w More

Posted by Mock Tudor at 12:51 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

Too old? I dont think so...
Sir Ian McKellen is not too old to play Gandalf. Like genlock says, the character will be a few years younger than in LOTR (give or take a decade or two). But on screen you probably wont even notice this. Look at Hugo Weaving's character in LOTR. He was 3000 years old yet in the flashbacks could you tell how old he was then? Yet he barely looked a day older. So yes, it is a damn good thing that Sir Ian will be reprising his role as Gandalf. He is Gandalf. I cant see anyone else playing the wizar More

Posted by Noelg25 at 12:50 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

Whoop Whoop Best news of the day!!
This film will be epic! Second film will be awesome as long as it deals with the expulsion of the Necromancer whilst not protraiting Gandalf in a weak light (I mean he was owned against the nazgul lord even thou he wasnt a Maiar (demi god) AND the in the ROTK book its clearly a stand off arrrrhh!!) Ok Rant over. I'd really like to see a movie verison of Turin Turambar in the future, clearly the darkest and most tragic tale of Tolkien's legacy. More

Posted by IstariAllStar08 at 12:40 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

Bilbo Casting
I would just like to say that i will bet absolutely anything on the fact that James Mcavoy will be Bilbo, especially after what Del Toro said about them all coming up with the same guy - he practically auditioned for it in The Lion the witch and the wardrobe More

Posted by davereed89 at 12:38 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

Ugh, it all just feels like a pale school reunion. More

Posted by wooz at 12:24 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

He's not too old...
But I am worried about Christopher Lee. Saruman potentially could have a more central, and more energetic role, if they beef up the whole "wizards go off to fight the Necromancer" plotline, and if they then spend the second film talking about S's fall from grace. I can't imagine anyone other than Lee in the role, but he's getting on a bit - I REALLY hope he can do it, because he's utterly terrific. More

Posted by britesparc at 11:46 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

what's the Lord Of The Rings? bah, even i don't find myself funny. More

Posted by Hughezy at 11:44 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

Happy Day...
...and all is right with the world. More

Posted by beancounter at 11:12 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

Too old?
Gandalf was already extremely old by the time of the Hobbit. He'll be playing a Gandalf who's only several years younger than the Gandlaf of LotR, which is neglectable considering Gandalf is supposed to be several hundred years old. He'll do a magnificent job, I have no doubt about it! More

Posted by genlock at 11:04 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

Too old
I can understand why they did this, but he's too old to play a younger version of the character he introduced ten years ago. More

Posted by Mock Tudor at 10:56 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

No-brainer
Good news. Now all we need is Ian Holm as a slightly younger Bilbo. I don't see why John Rhys Davies can't play Gloin too. More

Posted by Woolly_Cully at 10:52 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

Great News
This is good to know, even though we all knew it before it happened, this will be the next big thing after the Dark Knight, Transformers 2 will have to step up in story line to get the credit it deserves and i have all faith that it will, roll on 2010 and those little guys. More

Posted by take1 at 10:51 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

Yippee!
Was there ever any doubt? :D More

Posted by nclowe at 10:47 on 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

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