Ian McKellen Is Not Too Busy for The Hobbit
Sir Ian "clearing his diary" for return to Middle-earth in '09.The Hobbit was in legal limbo, Sir Ian McKellen wasn't shy about letting people know he wanted to reprise his role as Gandalf for the Lord of the Rings prequel(s).
Now that the project is coming together, his enthusiasm remains undimmed -- and what's more, according to the most recent batch of answers posted to his fans' questions at McKellen.com, he appears to be kinda sorta unofficially officially attached to the two Hobbit films.
It isn't the most surprising news, but it'll be comforting to fans of the LotR films, two of whom had their Hobbit-related questions addressed on Wednesday. Dig it:
Q: So has it come to pass, good Sir McKellen? Shall the dreaming masses with their musty books and their blackened pipes at long last hear those immortal words issue from under that famous nose? "Yes, yes, my dear sir -- and I 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 I should have lived to be good-morninged by Belladonna Took's son, as if I was selling buttons at the door!" Looking about, I find I share the same hopes as millions of others, so I ask, a single query in a chorus... Will you again be our Gandalf in "The Hobbit" now that the deal is settled?
A: 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 question might make you want to scream like Ogre in Revenge of the Nerds, but McKellen's answer is admirably direct -- and if you still have any doubt as to who'll be wielding Gandalf's staff in the new movies, read on:
Q: Have you been approached yet by Peter Jackson or anyone else about reprising your wonderful role as Gandalf for the two upcoming "Hobbit" movies. I read that principal photography begins in 2009, and I can't imagine those movies without you!
A: 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!