A little over a month ago it was confirmed that Amazon Studios was committed to making a multi-season TV series adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings.
We’re a long way from casting on that show to begin, but one familiar name sounds ready to sign on: none other than Ian McKellen. The actor has played Gandalf in director Peter Jackson’s two massive movie trilogies, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. When asked about Amazon’s show recently, it sounded like McKellen might just be up for reprising his role as the great wizard in the series…if he were asked to. See what he had to say below.
McKellen was a guest on Graham Norton’s radio show on BBC Radio 2 recently to talk about a stage production of The Exorcist he’s performing in. When Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series came up, McKellen was asked “Isn’t that annoying, that there’s gonna be another Gandalf in town?”
To this, McKellen came back with a simple question of his own: “What do you mean, another Gandalf?”
He was then asked if he was going to play the role in the TV series, to which he responded:
“I haven’t said yes because I haven’t been asked. But are you suggesting that someone else is going to play it? Gandalf is over 7000 years old, so I’m not too old.”
The whole thing was rather playful, and perhaps McKellen was simply joking around. But he does care about the character, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Amazon paid the man whatever it took to get him involved. And it would be worth every coin.
A big point of interest in whether or not this could happen—if there is any genuine interest from McKellen or Amazon—likely lies in how Amazon is planning to present the series.
McKellen was famously upset by the process of making the Hobbit trilogy, due to the heavy use of green screens for digital effects to be added in post-production. If Amazon opts to make a digital effects-heavy series with lots of green screen use and few physical sets and actors to actually act with, my guess is that McKellen wouldn’t be interested.
Judging by the responses to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, it would be in Amazon’s best interest to use as many practical effects as humanly possible…whether McKellen ultimately plays Gandalf or not.
If interested in hearing McKellen’s response, you can find the chat with Graham Norton right here. Jump to 27:30 for the Lord of the Rings question.
[Source: via The Wrap]
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