Sir Ian McKellen wants to play Gandalf again
Amazon Prime has just picked up the rights to produce a Lord of the Rings prequel series, and Sir Ian McKellen has shouted into the oblivion, "you shall not pass (on this role without me)", etc. (sorry!)
Casting may be the furthest thing from their minds at the moment (they've only just acquired the rights to a new prequel series, after all), but it doesn't look like Sir Ian McKellen is ready to give up his iconic role of Gandalf just yet.
McKellen and The Exorcist co-star Jenny Seagrove dropped by Graham Norton's Radio 2 show today (December 16) to discuss their West End show, but Graham couldn't let McKellen leave without asking him what he thought of Amazon's planned series.
"Amazon are doing a TV series of Lord of the Rings," Graham began. "Now isn't that annoying? That there's going to be another Gandalf in town?"
"What do you mean, another Gandalf?" McKellen replied, prompting Graham to ask if that means he's taking part in the series.
"I haven't said yes because I haven't been asked," the actor continued. "But are you suggesting that someone else is going to play it?
"Gandalf is over 7000 years old, so I'm not too old [yet]."
So, there you go, Amazon. Make this happen. We're not sure anyone would be able to live up to McKellen's version of the character anyway.
Amazon confirmed it had reached a deal with JRR Tolkien's estate to expand the lore of the Lord of the Rings franchise in a new prequel series and maybe even a potential spin-off too in November, reportedly spending about $200 million to secure the rights.
Everything is still very much early days at the moment, with no scripts, premises, cast or any other creative personnel working on anything that's been officially announced, but one Lord of the Rings star who is ruling himself out of the whole thing is Gollum himself Andy Serkis.
"I don't know if I'd want to go back into the Lord of the Rings realm," he said. "I feel like I've spent a large chunk of my life doing that. I'll say good luck and I think fresh eyes are probably a good thing."