Ian McKellen Says You Shall Not Pass On Him To Play Gandalf In Lord Of The Rings For Amazon


Sir Ian McKellen is not yet ready to give up his performance as Gandalf as he now had expressed interest in the new Lord Of The Rings series being developed for Amazon. Last month, Amazon has made a multi-season production commitment to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels for TV. Executives associated with the deal have also said the new series will offer the potential for spin-off shows.

McKellen who appeared as Gandalf in the three Lord of the Rings films adapted by Peter Jackson recently appeared on Graham Norton’s BBC Radio 2 show, alongside Jenny Seagrove, who he appears with in the West End version of The Exorcist, as Digital Spy reports. Asked if it was going to be annoying to have another Gandalf around, 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 that someone else is going to play it? Gandalf is over 7000 years old, so I’m not too old.”

When the news of the new series was confirmed, Sharon Tal Yguado – Amazon’s new head of scripted programming – said: “The Lord of the Rings is a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination of generations of fans through literature and the big screen,” she said.

“We are honoured to be working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line on this exciting collaboration for television and are thrilled to be taking The Lord of the Rings fans on a new epic journey in Middle Earth.”

Here are some reactions on social media to the news about McKellen’s desire to play Gandalf.

While McKellen is ready to jump to television, his “Lord of the Rings” co-star Andy Serkis isn’t. The actor behind Gollum made headlines last month when he admitted to the Toronto Sun that his time with the franchise is over and that he isn’t interested in playing a part in the television series.

“I don’t think I actually would at this point in time,” Serkis said. “I feel like I’ve been part of Middle-Earth for a long period of time in my life and it was a great experience, but I can’t foresee that.”

Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy combined for nearly $3 billion at the box office when it was released in three installments – The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King – between 2001 and 2003. The films also found critical success.

All three films were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, with The Return of the King ultimately winning that award along with Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and eight more Oscars. A Jackson-directed trilogy dedicated to Tolkien’s The Hobbit followed from 2012 to 2014.

What do you think of McKellan’s willingness to once again play Gandalf this time for the television adaptation? Are you excited for the version from Amazon? Let us know in the comments section.

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema



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