Ian McKellen has dropped a strong hint that he would like to reprise his role as Gandalf in Amazon’s “Lord of the Rings” series, stepping back into the shoes of the wizard he immortalized in the film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic.
The star was asked about the prospect of “there being another Gandalf in town” in the mega-bucks TV series. Speaking to Graham Norton on his BBC Radio show, McKellen replied: “What do you mean another Gandalf?” He added: “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?”
McKellen, who played Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movies, went on to say that at 78 he was still young for the role. “Gandalf is over 7,000 years old, so I’m not too old,” he told Norton.
Amazon has made a multi-season production commitment to “Lord of the Rings,” which looks set to be the most expensive series ever made. The deal also covers potential spinoffs and will be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema.
McKellen also weighed in on the debate around harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry while speaking at Oxford University earlier this month.
The film, TV and theater star related a story from when he started out in the business in the 1960s. A director showed him photographs sent to him by women who had written the letters “D.R.R.” on them, which stood for “Director’s Rights Respected” – a euphemism, the director said.
“In other words, ‘if you give me a job, you can have sex with me,'” McKellen explained. “That was commonplace. So people had taken advantage of that and encouraged it, and it absolutely will not do. I just assume nothing but good can come out of these [recent] revelations, even though some people of course get wrongly accused and there is that side to it as well.”
See the video of McKellen’s address here (comments on Hollywood abuse start at about 40 minutes in).