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Why Ian McKellen Almost Didn’t Return As Gandalf in The Hobbit

by  in Movie News Comment
Why Ian McKellen Almost Didn’t Return As Gandalf in <i>The Hobbit</i>

Considering how long it took for Ian McKellen to confirm he would be reprising the role of Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s two three Hobbit films, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the actor was on the fence about returning to the Lord of the Rings universe.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McKellen explained some of his hesitations about joining The Hobbit as Gandalf.

“It was a little like going back to something that wasn’t necessarily going to be particularly challenging,” the actor said. “Gandalf is still inside me, as it were, so the business of getting to know a new character — I was sort of going to be robbed of that.”

Eventually it was McKellen’s dedication to the Lord of the Rings fans that drew him back to the series. “You felt, how many millions of people are waiting for it?” he said. “They wouldn’t understand if you weren’t as keen as they were.”

We have to admit, we’re happy he’s back. Meanwhile, there’s another interesting tidbit of The Hobbit news floating around that suggests Stephen Colbert could have a cameo in one — or all — of the films. Empire noticed a quote in a new Playboy interview in which the comedian discussed being invited by Jackson to visit The Hobbit set.

“I flew out and watched them shoot some scenes and went to some locations,” Colbert explained. “I saw a 25-minute cut, and it was amazing. Jackson knows I’m a big fan of the films.”

The interviewer then asked if that meant he’d have a cameo in the movie, and Colbert only responded with a coy, “Could be.” We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled on this one.

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