Why Ian McKellen almost didn't return as Gandalf for The Hobbit

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012, 4:24 PM EST

When Peter Jackson set about putting the band back together for his Lord of the Rings prequel trilogy The Hobbit, he succeeded in luring back all the big names from the original. But it turns out one of the biggest stars almost didn't come back for the reunion tour.

Ian McKellen, who played the legendary wizard Gandalf, told The Hollywood Reporter that he almost turned down the chance to come back for the prequel.

The reason? He'd been there, done that, and was looking for something new:

"It was a little like going back to something that wasn't necessarily going to be particularly challenging. 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."
But with his mind all but made up, he made a decision at the eleventh hour to come back, out of respect for all the fans who've loved the series:
"You felt, how many millions of people are waiting for it? They wouldn't understand if you weren't as keen as they were ... Peter Jackson and I much prefer Gandalf the Grey, who was a man who did manage to enjoy himself."
Do you think The Hobbit could have worked without McKellen?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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