Sir Ian McKellen is Ready to be Gandalf Again

Posted on March 27, 2008

Sir Ian McKellen has been posting some interesting snippets on his blog lately. He says he's ready to play Gandalf again in The Hobbit, but hasn't been asked yet (there's no director hired yet).
Yes I will, if Peter Jackson and I have anything to do with it, he being the producer and me being, on the whole, a very lucky actor.


Encouragingly, Peter and Fran Walsh have told me they couldn't imagine The Hobbit without their original Gandalf. Their confidence hasn't yet been confirmed by the director Guillermo del Toro but I am keeping my diary free for 2009!
He also gives a fascinating behind the scenes look at Peter Jackson's directing style and his attention to detail:
Each day on set Peter would be there before any of the cast, reading to himself the relevant chapter from the book. He was open to any last minute suggestions from the actors about details they wanted to discuss. Then he would summarise the scenes we would be shooting; a necessity when so many of them were shot out of sequence. (On my first day on the film, I was on location for Gandalf's cart-ride entry into the first film. My next day's work was in the studio filming Gandalf's departure to Grey Havens at the end of the third film!)

The rigour of the Jackson approach continued through each day and individual camera set-ups were shot many times more than is usual in my experience. Not only me. On his first day, Christopher Lee was alarmed to have do more than 20 takes and hoped it didn't mean the director was unhappy about having cast him! It was not that Peter was uncertain of anything rather that he wanted to give himself maximum choice when editing the film many months later. Invariably he would not leave a scene without asking us to do just one more take, in case it revealed something spontaneous and new.
We hope Sir Ian keeps blogging regularly and that they hurry up and get the director and cast signed for The Hobbit.

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