McKellen says which actors are in (and out) of Hobbit

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

Ian McKellen is expected to reprise his Lord of the Rings role of Gandalf in director Guillermo del Toro's Hobbit movies, and though nothing's official yet, the actor told Empire magazine that he doubts many of his Rings co-stars will appear.

"Unfortunately, there won't be many of the actors going back," he told the magazine. "Unless they're going to put masks on and be disguised as dwarves! Andy Serkis is, at the moment, I think, the only other actor who's doing this film."

Serkis, of course, played Gollum in the Rings movies, and it's hard to imagine any other actor taking on the iconic role.

As for the movies' production, which had been threatened by MGM's financial woes, McKellen said:

"The scripts for the two films will be delivered very soon," he revealed. "Then they'll be budgeted, and then they'll be cast. And they'll be going when they've always said they would be, which is next spring—March or April. Guillermo even told me at one point, 'We're going to film for 383 days.' He's got that artistic autism! [Producer Peter] Jackson's the same; they're very, very, very alike. They also very different, but they've so much in common."

Other Rings actors who are likely to appear in the prequel films include Hugo Weaving as Elrond. Again, nothing's official yet.