Last week we learned how we nearly missed out on having Ian McKellen reprise Gandalf in The Hobbit. It would have been a tragedy. It would have been heartbreaking. And boy, wouldn’t it have sucked to have been the guy needing to fill those robes. But thankfully, that’s not where we are, McKellen chose to return and we get not one, not two, but three more movies of his Gandalf the Grey.

Today McKellen took to his blog – yes, he has a blog, and a Twitter, the man is very connected – to give a more in depth explanation to his initial hesitation at returning for The Hobbit. He outlined the pros and cons of the decision and it’s truly interesting because you see this isn’t a decision he made lightly. Clearly he cares for the character and his performance, and for that we fans should count ourselves very lucky.


Working with Peter Jackson is always stimulating and fun: we make each other laugh and he doesn’t let me get away with anything too theatrical on film. I admire his world-class colleagues like Andrew Lesnie (cinematographer), John Howe and Alan Lee (designers of Middle-earth) and so many more who returned for The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings trilogy has become a cinematic classic and the same could well be true of The Hobbit. I enjoy living in New Zealand and exploring the amazingly beautiful countryside.


A two-year commitment to The Hobbit would keep me from other work and keep me away from home and friends in London. I like new challenges and I’ve already played Gandalf the Grey.

He also mentions some of the behind-the-scenes problems, like finding a director after Guillermo Del Toro dropped out and issues New Zealand actors’ union, as reasons for not coming back. He thought the film might have been jinxed!

What clinched it is the same thing we heard earlier,

…the advice of a wise friend: “Ian, all those fans of the LOTR aren’t going to understand or care about your doubts.  They just want to see you back as Gandalf.”  And then I realised what I’d known all along, that I couldn’t bear to think of another actor donning the pointy hat and grey robes.

Again, a sigh of relief was heard the internet wide when McKellen announced he would indeed return for The Hobbit.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens December 14th. And just for shits and giggles, who would you have cast as the grey wizard were McKellen not to have returned? Michael Gambon did a nice job subbing in as Dumbledore after Richard Harris passed, but man is hard imagining another Gandalf.

Source: Bleeding Cool

Category: Film

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