Sir Ian McKellen Says He WILL Return as Gandalf in The Hobbit!
Although most of us knew this had to be the case or else we would have protested the making of The Hobbit, profound British actor Sir Ian McKellen confirms that he most definitely will return as the wonderful wizard Gandalf! Earlier today on his official website, McKellen answered numerous fan questions in an E-Post, two of which pertained specifically to The Hobbit. The short of it is that he will be back and he even in fact mentions Guillermo del Toro as the director, but unfortunately there is no signed deal yet and it's still not close to moving into production.
The third question down gets right to the point - will you again be our Gandalf in The Hobbit now that the deal is settled?
"Yes I will, if Peter Jackson and I have anything to do with it, he being the producer and me being, on the whole, a very lucky actor. I've just read your quote out loud - fabulous speech."
The quote he speaks of is one that the questioner took straight from The Hobbit: Shall the dreaming masses with their musty books and their blackened pipes at long last hear those immortal words issued from under that famous nose? "Yes, yes, my dear sir--and I do know your name, Mr. Bilbo Baggins. And you do know my name, though you don't remember that I belong to it. I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me! To think that I should have lived to be good-morninged by Belladonna Took's son, as if I was selling buttons at the door!"
One other question inquired as to whether he had actually be approached by Peter Jackson yet since filming is supposed to commence in 2009. His answer:
"Encouragingly, Peter and Fran Walsh have told me they couldn't imagine The Hobbit without their original Gandalf. Their confidence hasn't yet been confirmed by the director Guillermo del Toro but I am keeping my diary free for 2009!"
Oh thank the heavens! Things are already starting to look up for The Hobbit! I couldn't imagine it without McKellen either and I can say that this is easily the biggest sigh of relief ever to hear him utter those words. Now the next big step is actually getting this off the ground and into production. Unfortunately given that New Line buckled, it's probably going to take even more time for this to actually come together. At least we can sit in confidence knowing that our beloved Gandalf will be back while we wait until Peter Jackson, New Line, and Warner Brothers work out their woes.
Have they said who's going to be playing Bilbo in this? I imagine Ian Holm is a little too old for the role now, or I suppose they could just do what they did in the past sequence in LotR - lots of makeup.
Brad on Mar 26, 2008
he shouldnt be too old, maybe graying hair but that can be fixed but he doesnt age between the hobbit and fellowship because of the ring and i dont think it would work if they replaced him, hopefully get a cameo by legolas and gimli at the end but those are the easy parts, its casting baird and the dwarves that will be difficult but they did a great job with the rest of the movie so we shouldnt be worried just hope del toro doesnt make it too too dark
harrison on Mar 26, 2008
I'm still hoping that the non-signed deal and that new line issue will buy time for Peter Jackson to direct this. Don't get me wrong Del Toro is a great director, but for me PJ is LOTR. Though all signs are pointing that this will not be the case. Great news about McKellen returning! and about Bilbo I think Weta should start working on make up and computer generated thingies to see if it would work on Holmes.
bltzie on Mar 26, 2008
Ian Holm would do fine as Bilbo. Bilbo was older when first approached by Gandalf. After the work they did on the Balrog I can't wait to see the dragon!
blue on Mar 26, 2008
Bilbo was, IIRC, 55 in the Hobbit. Ian Holm is currently 77 so yeah, he might be a little old for the role, but I'm OK with that.
Jordan on Mar 26, 2008
Sorry, y'all -- Ian Holm will definitely be too old to be Bilbo, esp. by the time they actually make the movie. Bilbo was 55 in The Hobbit -- still a young man in hobbit terms. He was 111 in FOTR... extremely old, even for a hobbit. Even though he had "hardly aged a day," that's a really big age difference, too much for suspension of disbelief, IMO. I LOVED him in LOTR, but they'll have to recast or do MAJOR makeup/ CGI etc. to compensate. However, I trust Peter Jackson to make the right choice!
Kirsten on Mar 27, 2008
While Ian Holm is a bit too old for the part of younger-Bilbo, there is some pretty amazing software for digitally de-ageing characters - it was used on Sir Ian, and Patrick Stewart in X-Men 3. An article about this effect: http://www.fxguide.com/article357.html
WormSlayer on Mar 27, 2008
I hope Ian Holm will reprise the role. There's no reason why they can't use CGI to make him look younger. But at 77 I hope he won't find the role too physical.
Jess on Mar 29, 2008
Great to hear, that he'll be back again !!!
moviefans.de on Mar 29, 2008
Christopher Lee when he did Star Wars: Attack of the Clones had his face digitally placed on a stunt double pretty convincingly by George Lucas, I don't see why they can't do the same thing for Sir Ian, considering Christopher Lee was about the same age. Of course those effects were for a few minutes in the movie, but the technology has advanced a long way to do it for an entire film.
Chris on Apr 13, 2008
I read the book the hobbit, if you haven't yet, i suggest you do so. It's great and I'm glad to hear that the orogional gandalf is back playing in the movie.
Reannon on May 10, 2008
Well this is the best movie ever made for me:)
Real Estate Smith Mountain Lake on Sep 19, 2009
Ian McKellen was excellent in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but isn't it a bit of a stretch to ask him to reprise this role now he is 70 years old? Then again if he spends a few weeks on a sunny beach in malaga, I'm sure he will be relaxed and refreshed enough to take on "The Hobbit", especially with advances in CGI.
Toby Yelph on Oct 14, 2009
My only conscern would be del Toro. I have seen the times he has taken over on a series of films from other directors and have not been impressed, in the least, by his work. I would be far more at ease if they could sign Chris Columbus to do this series.
J. ROOK on Sep 14, 2010
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