Ian McKellen Teases Return As Gandalf In THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE HUNT FOR GOLLUM: "If I'm Alive!"

Ian McKellen Teases Return As Gandalf In THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE HUNT FOR GOLLUM: "If I'm Alive!"

Could we see Sir Ian McKellen reprise the role of Gandalf for The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt For Gollum? The legendary actor has been told there is "a part" for the character...

By MarkCassidy - Jun 10, 2024 07:06 AM EST
Filed Under: Lord of the Rings
Source: Via SFF Gazette

Back in March, we got word that a new The Lord of the Rings movie is set to hit theaters in 2026, with Andy Serkis on board to direct and reprise the role of Gollum.

Original LOTR trilogy director Peter Jackson and his writing partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are also set to return as producers, and “will be involved every step of the way” according to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav.

The movie's working title is The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum, which should give you a pretty good idea of what the story will focus on! The movie will likely be set shortly before the events of Jackson's trilogy.

This time period is mentioned in both Tolkien's novels and the films, with Gandalf and Aragorn attempting to track Gollum down before he falls into Sauron's hands. In the movies, the wizard says he "searched everywhere for the creature Gollum," but "the Dark Lord found him first." In the books, Aragorn reveals that he did manage to capture Smeagol ("he bit me... and I was not gentle") near the Dead Marshes, but wasn't able to get any information out of him.

We had assumed that younger actors would be cast in these roles, but it sounds like Sir Ian McKellen has been in touch with the studio about a potential return as Gandalf - though he hasn't had an official offer.

"I haven’t shaved in months,” the veteran actor tells The LA Times. “But there is no script, there is no offer, there is no plan.” McKellen adds that he might be interested, before adding with a chuckle, “If I’m alive.”

McKellen is still going strong at 85, and de-ageing technology has come a long way since we saw him as a younger Magneto in X-Men: The Last Stand. Depending on the size of Gandalf's role, there's nothing to say he couldn't don the pointy hat and staff one more time.

What do you think? Would you like to see Ian McKellen back as Mithrandir? Drop us a comment down below.

“It is an honour and a privilege to travel back to Middle-earth with our good friend and collaborator, Andy Serkis, who has unfinished business with that Stinker – Gollum!,” Jackson, Boyens and Walsh said in a statement when the film was announced. “As life long fans of Professor Tolkien’s vast mythology, we are proud to be working with Mike De Luca, Pam Abdy and the entire team at Warner Bros. on another epic adventure!”

“Yesssss, Precious. The time has come once more to venture into the unknown with my dear friends, the extraordinary and incomparable guardians of Middle Earth Peter, Fran and Philippa,” added Serkis. “With Mike and Pam, and the Warner Bros team on the quest as well, alongside WETA and our film making family in New Zealand, it’s just all too delicious…”.

“For over two-decades, moviegoers have embraced the Lord of the Rings film trilogy because of the undeniable devotion Peter, Fran and Philippa have shown towards protecting the legacy of Tolkien’s works, and to ensure audiences could experience the incredible world he created in a way that honors his literary vision,” WBD film chiefs Pam Abdy and Michael De Luca added. “We are honored they have agreed be our partners on these two new films. With Andy coming aboard to direct Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum(*WT), we continue an important commitment to excellence that is a true hallmark of how we all want to venture ahead and further contribute to the Lord of the Rings cinematic history.”

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S8R8M
S8R8M - 6/10/2024, 7:41 AM
I hope he doesn't do it. He had such a difficult time with all the green screen in the Hobbit. Also what is there to really say? We saw a brief history.
Origame
Origame - 6/10/2024, 7:55 AM
...this makes zero sense. Gollum doesn't have the ring post the hobbit. And Gandalf didn't even know the ring was THE ring until during the events of fellowship. He didn't even suspect it, hence why he didn't research the matter until that story.
MrDandy
MrDandy - 6/10/2024, 9:37 AM
@Origame - huh? The actual Hunt for Gollum is in the books and is covered extensively by Gandalf in the scene where he reveals the One Ring to Frodo. It involves him searching for Gollum as he suspects Bilbo’s Ring may be more insidious. He recruits the help of Aragorn to find him. Serkis has already said the film will focus more on Gollum.

Meaning we will likely see flashbacks to his past, his befriending of Shelob, his capture by Sauron, “escape” from Baradur, Aragorn hunting and finding him in the dead marshes, the two of them evading Nazgul as the pass Dul Guldor, his interrogation by Gandalf in Thranduil’s prisons, and the final battle where an orc army attacks Thranduil and Gollum uses it to make his final gettaway. There you go. There’s the movie.
Slotherin
Slotherin - 6/10/2024, 7:56 AM
Not sure what the point would be but I appreciate his humor on the subject
SuperCat
SuperCat - 6/10/2024, 8:04 AM
User Comment Image
Feralwookiee
Feralwookiee - 6/10/2024, 8:30 AM
@SuperCat - My dude is stocking up for the new strain of covid! 🤣
SuperCat
SuperCat - 6/10/2024, 11:30 AM
@Feralwookiee - LMAO! >>>>>>>>>>
SuperCat
SuperCat - 6/10/2024, 8:11 AM
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marvel72
marvel72 - 6/10/2024, 9:48 AM
@SuperCat - Gollum looks all kind of messed up.
SuperCat
SuperCat - 6/10/2024, 11:28 AM
@marvel72 - LOLOLOL. He does!
IAmAHoot
IAmAHoot - 6/10/2024, 8:59 AM
Can't help but be reminded of a video with the late Christopher Lee where he was doing a recorded interview or such in his home saying that he hoped to be alive to see the final Hobbit film.
MrDandy
MrDandy - 6/10/2024, 9:29 AM
That is why they are doing Hunt for Gollum as the first Anthology film. They are hoping to get back what actors they can before they are dead.
PatchesOhulihan
PatchesOhulihan - 6/10/2024, 10:05 AM
I'm sure a lot of folks here would disagree, but I don't care, I love Middle Earth and will watch anything set in that universe. ROP left much to be desired, but I still enjoyed being back in the world, no matter how clunky or jarring it was at times. Hell, I'd probably even watch any version of a sitcom/drama/mockumentary set in the shire around the hobbits everyday life.
JayLemle
JayLemle - 6/10/2024, 12:13 PM
He's keeping it real, at least. If he passes, the studio will probably just go the CG or AI route, anyway.
LSHF
LSHF - 6/10/2024, 1:46 PM
At this point of the game, I think the "If I'm alive" phrase is a stipulation included in all of his contracts. 🤪

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