In a radio interview on The Graham Norton Show, by way of Variety, Ian McKellen suggests he’d be more than happy to once again play Gandalf in the upcoming Lord of the Rings series.

Amazon recently purchased the rights for the legendary world and intends to make a prequel series to the main story. Whether or not the film will precede The Hobbit story is unknown. In fact, little is known about the series. But if they’re looking to maintain any sort of continuity, casting Ian McKellen would be the perfect way to do it.

In case you didn’t know, McKellen has played the part in six films beginning with 2001’s The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. A part for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards.

When asked about the idea of another Gandalf in town, McKellen scoffed. “What do you mean another Gandalf? I haven’t said yes because I haven’t been asked, but are you suggesting someone else is going to play it? Who would be suitable?”

Exciting to say the least. Gandalf likely wouldn’t play a large role in the series. Rumors suggest this may feature original characters set in the classic realm. But to have a connective tissue like McKellen’s Gandalf to bridge the series’ would be a huge asset. And a wonderful piece of nostalgia.

The world-famous thespian went on to say, “Gandalf is over 7,000 years old, so I’m not too old.”

Sir Ian McKellen is 78.

“…what to do with the time that is given us.”

What stories will the new Lord of the Rings series bring to life? Who knows. The possibilities are endless. The creations of J.R.R. Tolkien spans eons and ages. With countless heroes and countless villains. Monsters lurking in every corner; magic teaming at the fringes of every landscape. It was first explored on film with several animated films. One spanning the entire Lord of the Rings story, the other telling the tale of The Hobbit. 

Beginning in 2001, Peter Jackson directed six films depicting the stories of Tolkien’s greatest adventures. Perhaps the greatest adventures in the history of fantasy literature. All of those stories have a hobbit as their protagonist.

Don’t know what a hobbit is? Well, they’re simple creatures who inhabit a beautiful realm called The Shire. They don’t pay much attention to the goings-on of the world. But when the time comes they can be capable of great things.

Like the Star Wars prequels, The Hobbit trilogy don’t quite match up to their predecessors/sequels. But the Amazon series will look to be a different story entirely. The series may not star a hobbit; the series may not feature any familiar characters at all. What it will do is continue a beautiful world that fans will continue to enjoy on film, page, and in video games for many years to come. Hopefully, Amazon is adding a worthy addition to an already impressive library.

Roads go Ever on…

The Lord of the Rings is the only film trilogy that can give the original Star Wars trilogy a run for its money as best of all time. That’s because Peter Jackson created the greatest modern fairy tale. A world that even he can’t seem to replicate correctly. The Amazon series will reportedly cost around $150 million dollars to make for each season. A very large investment. However, if Amazon makes the right decisions and picks the right creative partners this could be the new Game of Thrones.

A world of great splendor, but also great terror, great evil. This is a world that needs to be convincing in every part of the frame. The team behind it will need to get everything just right for fans to believe they’ve truly gone to Tolkien’s world again.

Unfortunately, McKellen is also in the news for making some poorly-conceived comments about Hollywood’s recent scandals. Though some of his remarks are surprising, they were then echoed by actress Noomi Rapace. Hopefully, whether or not he had good intentions his remarks won’t affect any possible appearance The Grey Pilgrim could make on the upcoming series.


  • About The Author

    Daniel Mills
    Batman & DC Writer

    Daniel Mills is a screenwriter and director working in Los Angeles, California. Far too many comics and Forgotten Realms-novels led him to want to tell stories of his own. From articles and opinion pieces to reviews and screenplays, he sees every new opportunity as another new realm waiting to be explored.