Sir Ian McKellen in a Zombie Movie?
05.14.10 by Ryan
His career is legendary. Known worldwide as both the wizard Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings trilogy and as the mutant Magneto from the X-Men movies, Sir Ian McKellen received an Academy Award nomination for his work in 1998's Gods and Monsters. With McKellen set to reprise his Gandalf role in the upcoming The Hobbit, one of the stories coming from the Cannes Film Festival is that he will also be working on ... a zombie movie? Acccording to The Independent, it's true.
E'Gad, Zombies! is a product of English actors Matthew Butler and Tori Hart, who wrote the screenplay and appear in the movie, with Butler also directing. Set in 18th-Century England, two entrepreneurs offer their services to rid the country of its most horrific problem — zombies. With only 22 minutes completed, Butler has taken the movie to Cannes with the hope of securing distribution and funding for the rest. While the concept is similar to the zombie "mash-up" novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which is getting its own big-screen version starring Natalie Portman), Butler says he came up with the idea for E'Gad while directing a play set in the same time period.
I just thought how brilliant zombies would look in those costumes, so we started writing. We tried to make it seem like an 18th-century play with similar themes and characters but added zombies. This means it's a comedy with quite extreme characters. We put a clip of the short on YouTube and suddenly we were getting emails from all over the world saying, "When are you going to make it into a film?"
Butler met McKellen while working on The Da Vinci Code, and told The Wharf last month that McKellen has been "very supportive" of E'Gad, Zombies! ever since he agreed to appear in the movie.
It was fantastic news and since then Sir Ian has been mentioning it in interviews so we've had a lot of calls from people asking about a feature-length version. He's been great — very supportive.
One problem is he is touring with Waiting For Godot for a while before heading off to film The Hobbit for a good few months. So we'll have to work around his schedule and perhaps film his parts separately.
In the meantime, watch the YouTube clip below to see a sneak peak of Sir Ian amongst the zombie horde.