Ian McKellen Thinks Peter Jackson Could Return to Middle-Earth

December 2, 2014
Source: BBC

Peter Jackson & Ian McKellen

In just over a couple weeks, the final chapter of The Hobbit trilogy arrives in theaters with The Battle of the Five Armies (watch the final trailer for the film). And while this is being touted as the defining chapter of the Middle-Earth legend, one of the franchise's stars who has been in J.R.R. Tolkien's world brought to life on the big screen since The Fellowship of the Ring thinks that director Peter Jackson may return to this fantasy world. Sir Ian McKellen, who plays the wise wizard Gandalf the Grey, told BBC (via THR) that he doesn't necessarily think this film will be the end of Jackson's playtime in Middle-Earth. Read on!

McKellen says, "I was told by Peter, in 2001, that that was the end, that it was all over. Here we are 13 years later. So I don't believe necessarily this is the end of the journey." Now that likely doesn't mean that McKellen has any inside information on Jackson developing some kind of other project adapting J.R.R. Tolkien's, but after working with the director for so long, maybe he just has in inclination that he'll want to do something else in Middle-Earth. Now you're probably  wondering just what Jackson has left to do.

Well, Tolkien also (partially) wrote The Silmarillion, a sort of pre-history to Middle-Earth. However, bringing that book to the big screen wouldn't be anywhere near as easy as Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Speaking at a press conference at Comic-Con over the summer, Jackson fielded a question about adapting that particular book and he said:

"J.R.R. Tolkien sold the film rights to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in the 1960s. The Silmarillion wasn’t written yet. It wasn’t even written in his lifetime. It was written by him and, partly, his son finished it after his death and published it after the professor had died. So, the film rights are with them, and the estate doesn’t have any interest in discussing film rights with anybody. So that’s the situation there. They’re not as untangled as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit."

It's no secret that the Tolkien estate isn't nearly as big of a fan of Jackson's big screen adaptations of the iconic authors classic books as the millions of fans around the world who turn out for them every year (read more about the conflict between Tolkien's estate and Hollywood here). That doesn't mean that bringing The Silmarillion to the big screen is impossible, but it certainly doesn't sound likely. But even if Jackson doesn't return to Middle-Earth, his two film trilogies have created quite the legacy and McKellen says, "The movies will go on being seen, people will come to them freshly for the first time…The thing goes on living." And then someone will probably remake them in 20 years. What do you think?

Find more posts: Hobbit, Hype, Movie News



Guessing he'd prefer Jackson returned to Middle Earth and not a big room with green everywhere.

OfficialJab on Dec 2, 2014


Gandalf The Trilogy 😀

Tuomas Lassila on Dec 2, 2014


He literally means Jackson's gonna move into Bilbo's storm shelter in New Zealand, where Zoe Bell's gonna teach him some break dance Kung fu moves, like the crunch and the girl push up.

The Walking Cuban on Dec 2, 2014


Move on Pete.

Carpola on Dec 2, 2014


Jackson is becoming the George Lucas of the Tolkien world....enough is enough.

TheOct8pus on Dec 2, 2014


Exactly. Francis Ford Coppola mentioned in an interview how young George Lucas had so many creative ideas for films until 'Star Wars' became such a juggernaut that it eventually consumed him. All other concepts withered and died and we'll never know what could have been. Jackson did a great job, now he needs to leave Middle-Earth and don't look back.

Cal J. on Dec 2, 2014


Jackson made 6 masterpieces though. Lucas has one, maybe two.

Jon Odishaw on Dec 2, 2014


Dead Alive King Kong Heavenly Creatures Fellowship of the Ring The Two Towers Return of the King Yeah. Six. I'd say just one for Lucas, as far as directing goes.

TheOct8pus on Dec 2, 2014


Personally I think George has 2: American Graffiti, and Star Wars Ep. 4.

Quanah on Dec 2, 2014


Leaving out Meet the Feebles and Bad taste? wtf! Meet the feebles is like letting Lynch loose in the Henson universe.. its brilliant. 😀

ErrorSapiens on Dec 3, 2014


I hope you don't mean The Hobbit on those 6. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is indeed a master piece, but Jackson killed The Hobbit.

el copi on Dec 2, 2014


Instead of adapting more Rings related material, how about an original story? Sick of LOTR. I for one thought the first two Hobbit's were a wash.

Joker's hideout on Dec 2, 2014


Have thoroughly enjoyed all his Middle Earth films. Probably time for another project.

avconsumer2 on Dec 2, 2014


I agree, I have also really enjoyed all the movies thus far. There's no doubt Peter Jackson has the vision to create something great and i think eventually he will.

Rock n Rollllll on Dec 2, 2014


This is a foregone conclusion. If any one thought it would stop with the Hobbit, you have not payed attention to Hollywood recently. Give it 5-10 year we will get a Silmarillion.

Brian Sleider on Dec 2, 2014


Damn. If they decide to make more, they might as well get Jackson to come back and make more films. I mean really. He knows the universe better than any one now and respects the material.

DAVIDPD on Dec 2, 2014


But they did an awful job with The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings film trilogy was awesome, I loved it, but The Hobbit is just wrong, they turned it into endless hours of boringness. I don't trust Jackson to adapt anything else. Keep The Silmarillion away from him and give it to, I don't know, HBO.

el copi on Dec 2, 2014


I don`t see the problem here.. Ok, we might not see tolkien estate approved Peter Jackson directed Tolkien written book movies (puh what a sentence) - But the ones of us willing to pick up a ps3/4/ controller or a mouse and a keyboard have lots of possibilties to explore the world in NEW games, if they are given to the right people.. if Bioware did something in the range of Dragon age:Origins and Mass Effect (1) with a good director helming the game development.. we could get some really spectacular stories and cutscenes.. thinking more "Virtually controlled cinematic experience" than action rpg of course. 🙂 And it would place US partially in the "director seat" to make our own stories within those limits. Not going to discuss PJs work on the Hobitt ofc.. thats like discussing if Slayer is the best metal band in the universe. (They are, end of discussion) 😉

ErrorSapiens on Dec 3, 2014


I believe that the movie industry will dramatically change in twenty or thirty years time. Unless, the studios and Hollywood begins bringing in fresh new ideas and stories that appeal to all age groups. Rather than having this silly mentality of making profits at the box office with rehashed blockbusters.

CptGrimsdale on Dec 3, 2014


At first I wasn't really interested in The Lord of the Rings then one day I saw the first of the trilogy and Bam I'm hooked. So when I knew they were coming out with The Hobbit, I had to see it. I would love to see another Lord of the Rings because I can't believe that is the end ...Frodo can't be dead. Would love to see the old gang back together again ... how middle-earth turns out after Aragorn becomes King.

Carol Stovall on Apr 10, 2015

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