Ian McKellan told reporters that he was to dine with The Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro on Thursday to discuss reprising his Lord of the Rings role of Gandalf the wizard in the prequel, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's book.
"I'm having supper with Guillermo del Toro this evening," McKellan said in a group interview on Jan. 8 in Universal City, Calif. "You're asking me about 12 hours too early."
Preproduction on The Hobbit is underway. "I've been promised I am [going to be involved]," McKellan said while promoting his upcoming AMC miniseries The Prisoner. "And as Guillermo del Toro's directing it, I should be so lucky. And in New Zealand, a place I love, so it's almost an ideal job for me."
Though it may have been too long since McKellan's last book report to quote specific passages from The Hobbit, he still can't wait to speak wizard again. "He's got the best lines, hasn't he?" McKellan asked.
Meanwhile, McKellan said that he has not seen a script yet for the proposed X-Men spinoff film featuring his character, Magneto. David Goyer has written a script, but it has not made it to the actor yet.
"I haven't read a script, no," McKellan said. "It's not come my way. I'm here and ready and waiting, but I think if they do do a spinoff of Magneto, it'll be about the young man, the young Magneto."
The success of the upcoming prequel film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which stars Hugh Jackman, could determine Magneto's prospects.
"If the Wolverine movie does well, well, probably they'll just make another Wolverine movie, won't they?" McKellan mused. "I was told that there would be a Magneto spinoff, and anything else I'd say would just be guessing. That was a long time ago."