Date: 17th October 2007

McKellen keen to be Gandalf again

Sir Ian McKellen has said he would be "very pleased" to reprise his role as wizard Gandalf in the planned film of JRR Tolkien's novel The Hobbit.

"If I am still functioning and working well, it is very likely I would be asked to do it," he told Reuters.

Sir Ian played the role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, landing an Oscar nomination in the process.

Due to a legal dispute with film studio New Line, however, Peter Jackson will not be back as director for The Hobbit.

"When Peter announced he had withdrawn from The Hobbit, he sent me an email saying: 'Because I am not going to do it, it doesn't mean you have to do the same,'" McKellen is quoted as saying.

"'Of course, you must play Gandalf whether I direct or not.'"

Source: Press Release