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Ian McKellen Talks The Hobbit/Magneto
Exclusive: Sir Ian on his geek projects

13 October 2009  |  Written by Chris Hewitt  

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Empire had the good fortune recently to catch up with one of our favourite knights, Sir Ian McKellen, at the San Sebastian Film Festival. Naturally, we decided to pump him vigorously for the latest on his involvement with those twin towers of movie geekdom: The Hobbit and the X-Men franchise.

First up: The Hobbit. It’s been known for some while now that Sir Ian would be reprising his role as Gandalf (the Grey variety this time) for Guillermo del Toro’s Lord of the Rings prequel. But he had a few additional titbits to spill this time around.

“The scripts for the two films will be delivered very soon,” he revealed. “Then they'll be budgeted, and then they'll be cast. And they'll be going when they've always said they would be, which is next spring – March or April. Guillermo even told me at one point, 'We're going to film for 383 days.' He's got that artistic autism! Jackson's the same; they're very, very, very alike. They also very different, but they've so much in common. They both can't stand Hollywood and have wonderful imaginations, and they're both obsessed with gore and fantasy. Both of them laugh a great deal. Guillermo's one of the most brilliant men I've ever met. His English vocabulary is way superior to mine!”

There’s been fervent speculation about the possible return of other Rings cast members, with the likes of Legolas and Aragorn in the frame for cameos, but Sir Ian isn’t convinced.

“Unforunately, there won’t be many of the actors going back,” he said, “unless they’re going to put masks on and be disguised as dwarves! Andy Serkis is, at the moment, I think, the only other actor who’s doing this film.”

Of course, we fully expect Hugo Weaving to pop up as Elrond, but that announcement will doubtless come in due course.

In the meantime, we couldn’t let Sir Ian – who was at San Sebastian to pick up a lifetime achievement award – go without mentioning X-Men Origins: Magneto, which is still in a state of flux. Rumour has it that the script would call for a McKellen appearance to bookend the prequel action, but the actor says he’s heard nowt.

“There's meant to be a Magneto script floating around, but I've not read it, so I suspect it wouldn't involve me,” he said. “I think it would be about the younger Magneto, and the most I could hope for would be to top and tail that. They can't have someone whose face is as lined as mine any longer!”

Empire, of course, reminded him about the sudden appearance of a mysteriously de-aged Patrick Stewart in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, prompting a hearty guffaw.

“Ooh, he was very pleased with himself that he was going in to be in Wolverine,” cackled Sir Ian. “It was only an hour's work! We were working on Waiting For Godot at the time!”

For further developments on both projects, watch this space.

 


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Your Comments

I met Patrick Stewart at one of the Malvern performances of Godot and had a nice chat where i tried to weasle out of him if he had a cameo in Star Trek. He said no but had done something for another franchise which i took to be Wolverine. Haven't seen it yet...but may do on bluray. Not looking forward to it to be honest... More

Posted by skinfreak at 06:47 on 14 October 2009 | Report This Post

hmmm
wolverine was ok, it was watchable and somewhat enjoyable but a major failure to live up its hype which happens so often to movies now they should have kept it simple... as for patrick stewerts cameo it should have been cut it looked beyond shabby workmanship and im a great fan of Paddy but his part did nothing for the movie only dragged it down another notch More

Posted by SteadyEddie at 16:08 on 13 October 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Thanks for the spoiler... TWATS!
Plastic Stewart? More

Posted by Kazuya at 14:48 on 13 October 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Thanks for the spoiler... TWATS!
It isn't even like Stewart was there on set. It looks like they took a piece of film with him from some other picture, plopped his head on a CGI body and had him stand there looking all weird. Although it would be hilarious if he did in fact turn up to set to film the scene. Wolverine = A film so bad they couldn't even get the actors to look real. More

Posted by Rgirvan44 at 14:44 on 13 October 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Thanks for the spoiler... TWATS!
In that blink and you'll miss it moment Stewart's appearance really does ruin the film. If you think that's bad wait until you've sat through the rest of that turgid mess of a film which'll make you wonder if X3 was all that bad.   In case you're wondering it was. More

Posted by fish that roared at 14:18 on 13 October 2009 | Report This Post

Oooh err missus
Rather unfortunately worded sentence in that first paragraph Empire! More

Posted by hughjass at 13:40 on 13 October 2009 | Report This Post

I love Ian McKellan
I hope the do but him in the Magneto prequel. He should be in every film, ever. More

Posted by britesparc at 11:56 on 13 October 2009 | Report This Post

Spoiler...
Hey, Hardrocker. I don't want to spoil the ending for you either so look away now: it's shite. More

Posted by sweetladybrick at 11:55 on 13 October 2009 | Report This Post

Thanks for the spoiler... TWATS!
Stewart makes a cameo in Woverine, eh!?!?... that would have been a nice surprise to see when the movie finally comes out to rent!!!! More

Posted by hardrocker at 11:31 on 13 October 2009 | Report This Post

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