Ian McKellen has said he hopes to regain his beard and staff, even if Peter Jackson is not able to direct him. There have been some legal issues with Peter Jackson and New Line over his income for Fellowship Of The Ring, meaning that he may not be able to return to direct. New Line’s Bob Shaye even went as far as saying ‘Jackson will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again while I’m still working for the company’. However, recently things have calmed down, with Shayne saying ‘I really respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in ‘The Hobbit.’ Mckellen recently said:
“When Peter announced he had withdrawn from The Hobbit, he sent me an e-mail saying, ‘Because I am not going to do it, it doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Of course, you must play Gandalf whether I direct or not.'”
“I am glad to read that it is looking more and more likely…I would be disappointed if they didn’t want to have the original Gandalf.
I suppose if I am still functioning and working well, it is very likely I would be asked to do it and if I were, I would be very pleased to do it.”
Ian McKellen was a great Gandalf, and even earned an Oscar nomination for his role. My favourite scene in the whole franchise, well one of my favourites as there are so many, is when Gandalf politely asks the Balrog to not follow them. As the Balrog did not wish to co-operate a battle ensured, resulting in Gandalf levelling up from Grey to White.