“What do you mean, another Gandalf?” Sir Ian McKellan Would Happily Reprise His Role for Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Series

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In a recent interview with Graham Norton on BBC Radio 2, Sir Ian McKellan said he’d be willing to play Gandalf again on Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series. (This sequence starts at around the 27:30 mark.) Indeed, it sounds like he might expect to be asked.

“Amazon are doing a TV series of Lord of the Rings,” said host Norton. “Now isn’t that annoying? That there’s going to be another Gandalf in town?”

“What do you mean, another Gandalf?” McKellen said.

“What, are you playing it? Are you doing the TV series?”

“I haven’t said ‘yes,’ because I haven’t been asked,” Mckellan said. “But are you suggesting that someone else is going to play it?”

“There might be someone cheaper around,” Norton said.

“Gandalf is 7,000 years old, so I’m not too old [yet],” McKellan answered with a chuckle.

Amazon’s multi-season series, which includes “a potential additional spin-off series,” will not retread the story of the Peter Jackson trilogy, but will instead “explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.” However, Gandalf’s been on Middle Earth a looong time, so he could easily play a role in this prequel series, depending on what material they decide to cover. At the very least, a few cameos from the Jackson trilogy are likely.

The role has clearly been important to McKellan, even though he is also known for more high-minded dramatic roles. As he mentions earlier on the radio program, he’s long joked that his gravestone should read, “Here lies Gandalf; he came out.” And his take on Middle Earth’s most iconic wizard was so memorable that it would be difficult for another actor to take on the role without facing inevitable, intimidating comparisons.

This is all a whole lot of speculation, given that we don’t know which specific storylines the new Amazon series will cover, and if they’ll even involve Gandalf, but it’s fun to think we’ll get to see McKellan as Gandalf the Grey one last time. Especially if this series turns out better than The Hobbit trilogy … which it totally will, right? It won’t be a boring retread, right? Right?

(Via io9; image via New Line Cinema)

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