McKellen hopes for Gandalf
While Ian McKellen completes the American leg of his worldwide tour playing King Lear, he openly speaks about his desire to reprise the role of Gandalf for The Hobbit, and of Peter Jackson's blessing for him to do just that, with or without him at the helm.
Saying that, McKellen is keen for Peter Jackson to retake the directorial duties on the film, as are we all.
Speaking to ABC News he said:
“When Peter announced he had withdrawn from The Hobbit, he sent me an email saying 'Because I am not going to do it, it doesn't mean you have to do the same. Of course, you must play Gandalf whether I direct or not'...
...I am glad to read that it is looking more and more likely ... I would be disappointed if they didn't want to have the original Gandalf. I suppose if I am still functioning and working well, it is very likely I would be asked to do it and if I were, I would be very pleased to do it.”
Meanwhile Ian McKellen's international fame in film has helped along his stage appearances. Would you believe that tickets for his King Lear performances have been reaching up to US $1,700? That's against the normal ticket price of US $90!
Once he's completed the world tour it looks as though we'll get to see him perform it on a direct to DVD version. Whether that is just a straight filming of the stage version or not we'll have to wait and see. Whichever, I'd definitely be interested in seeing him outside the gowns of wizard or mutant.