Actor Ian McKellen has played a variety of roles in his long career, but two of his most iconic have been the mutant leader Magneto in the X-Men trilogy and the wise wizard Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. McKellen is reprising the role of Gandalf in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, the upcoming, two-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings, and it's hard to imagine anyone else in the role (thankfully, we don't have to for now). However, during an interview the December issue of Empire (via New Zealand Herald), however, McKellen revealed that he initially turned down the role of Gandalf.
How did mckellen end up as Gandalf? >> Posted 11.12.11 by Ryan
At the time I was about to play Magneto in the X-Men film in Toronto. I was already committed to that ... and it meant I couldn't get to New Zealand in time. So I had to tell [writer-director-producer] Peter [Jackson] I could no longer do Gandalf.
Writer-director-producer Peter Jackson has used his Facebook page to reveal casting announcements, video blogs and more for his upcoming, two–part prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy,The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, but Entertainment Weekly has the first photos from the movie.
An official photo of the cast has been previously revealed, but this is the first time the actor have been shown in costume, though the photos keep mostly to Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, and Ian McKellen as Gandalf, who should look familiar to all who have seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Accompanying the photos are some notes from Jackson, who complimented Freeman and his performance.
more from jackson >> Posted 06.24.11 by Ryan
He fits the ears, and he's got some very nice feet. I think he's got the biggest hobbit feet we've had so far. They're a little bit hard to walk in, but he's managed to figure out the perfect hobbit gait.
At last year's Cannes Film Festival, actor-writer-director Matthew Butler shopped his short E'Gad, Zombies! to find financing for a feature-length version. Aiding him in his search was Sir Ian McKellen, who narrated and appeared in the 22-minute movie set in 18th-Century England. At the time, director David O. Russell was busy adapting Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but the project, which recently hired Fright Night remake director Craig Gillespie, still has no cast attached.
A year later, Butler's hard work has paid off, as Screen Daily reports that Dame Judi Dench and Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) have joined the cast of the production, which is now titled The Curse of the Buxom Strumpet.
Like E'Gad, Zombies!, the plot of The Curse of the Buxom Strumpet remains the same — a seaside town finds itself the victim of a deadly illness. Butler co-wrote the movie with Tori Hart; both are also serving as producers. Butler is again in Cannes this year talking to sales agents and hopes to start production on the movie later this year in Scotland. watch the E'Gad, Zombies! trailer >> Posted 05.18.11 by Ryan
One thing that 71-year-old actor Ian McKellen is not shy about using is social media. In March, with production on The Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit still weeks away, McKellen tweeted and blogged about seeing "Bilbo in 3 dimensions." Director Peter Jackson has embraced social media as well, video blogging the start of production almost a month ago.
McKellen's latest missives includes an example of the technological times, as the actor Tweeted a photo of himself in full Gandalf costume wearing 3-D glasses.
who else is returning? >> Posted 05.12.11 by Ryan
THE HOBBIT is being filmed in 3D. Even wizards have to wear the glasses
The promotional blitz for X-Men: First Class has lately come in form of trailers, posters and photos — with MTV recently revealing another new photo of the cast (shown above) — but the cast of director Matthew Vaughn's X-Men prequel has also been doing the press rounds as well.
Michael Fassbender recently spoke to The LA Times about playing Erik Lensherr, a.k.a. Magneto, in the movie, a role he inherited from Ian McKellen who played the character in the previous trilogy of X-Men movies. Fassbender revealed that he decided not to use McKellen's performance as a basis for his own.
Kravitz describes her "sexy" audition; Till reveals Havok's "dark side" >> Posted 04.28.11 by Ryan
At one point I thought, should I study Ian McKellen as a young man, should I take that approach? Matthew wasn’t so keen on it and after discussing it we decided it might lead off away from the real priorities. Just returning to the comic books you find that Erik can — in terms of taking on a voice — Erik can be anything when we meet him. He speaks German, he goes to a concentration camp in Poland, ends up in Eastern Europe with Magda, has a child there and then sort of goes off to Israel. There’s so much there and I tried to approach it freshly from that source material and see what I could come up with independently. There is, of course, the hint of what Ian McKellen has done in the movies is there as well.
Gone are the days when fans could only read about upcoming movies in magazines and watch footage in trailers on TV before seeing the real thing on the big screen. Director Peter Jackson has recognized that the peering blogs of the Internet don't keep anything secret for long, so he's introduced a commitment to transparency through his Facebook page. Jackson has already delivered a Master class in frame rates, and his latest offering is a video blog that goes behind the scenes of The Hobbit, chronicling the start of production. watch the video >> Posted 04.14.11 by Ryan
We're still a couple weeks away from the start of principal photography on The Hobbit, but pre-production work on the highly-anticipated two-part prequel to the The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy has been underway for some time (at least as far back as March 2009 when Weta, the special effects, props and digital visual effects company behind LOTR, District 9, Avatar and many other movies, announced that it was "in production" on The Hobbit). LOTR director Peter Jackson returns to the world of Middle Earth created by J.R.R. Tolkien and this time he has brought 3-D technology with him. Sir Ian McKellen, who played the wizard Gandalf in LOTR and will reprise the role in The Hobbit tweeted several weeks ago that he "saw Bilbo in 3D," and now he has updated his personal website with a blog about the experience. read what mckellen wrote about 3-D bilbo >> Posted 03.09.11 by BrentJS
Peter Jackson has been slowly assembling his cast for The Hobbit, the upcoming prequel to his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jackson hired British actor Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins last October, then brought back Cate Blanchett as Galadriel in December. Blanchett's character does not appear in J.R.R. Tolkien's original novel, but neither did Elijah Wood's Frodo, though Wood will also return as Frodo, possibly in a narrator kind of role.
Two characters who were are definitely in Tolkien's Hobbit are the wizard Gandalf and Gollum, played respectively by Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis, who, curiously, had yet to be signed for the two-part prequel. That's all about to change. who else will be returning? >> Posted 01.11.11 by Ryan
Just when it seemed like all of the bad news of the past few months surrounding the planned two-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy was in the past, with the movies finally getting a green light and a lead actor (Martin Freeman) to play "Burglar" Bilbo Baggins, Sir Ian McKellen dropped a bombshell on LOTR fans earlier this month by announcing that he was "not under contract" to reprise the role of Gandalf the Grey (or White depending on which movie we're talking about) in The Hobbit. Well, now all of Hobbiton can celebrate with a pint of Butterbeer and some Wizard Weed because Sir McKellen has revealed, via his personal web-site, that he will be returning as Gandalf in the "2010's" section of his filmography. More about The Hobbit >> Posted 11.28.10 by BrentJS
One cast member for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit that felt like an absolute certainty has been Sir Ian McKellen. The legendary actor, who played the wizard Gandalf in all the previous Lord of the Rings movies, has publicly advocated the production several times in the past year as if his participation was a certainty. In November of 2009, McKellen revealed that he "couldn't be happier" about the Hobbit script, which he said was "extremely attractive [since] this part has been written for me." In June of this year, McKellen assuaged fan fears by using his Twitter account to announce that, despite director Guillermo del Toro's departure from the project, that The Hobbit "will get made."
However, in July, McKellen admitted that he was "not under contract" for the movie, and, in a recent interview with BroadwayWorld, admitted that the situation has not changed.
Is McKellen out of the movie for good? >> Posted 11.02.10 by Ryan
I am not under contract, no.