When it comes to these mega-budget blockbuster tentpoles, the actors generally tend to be the last to know anything.
Nonetheless, it's always nice to get an update from one of them. The latest example comes from Sir Ian "I'm also Magneto" McKellen regarding The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings "bridge" film; scheduled for Christmas 2010 and 2011 releases.
When asked about his participation in said films, he tells us:
"Yes I will, if Peter Jackson and I have anything to do with it, he being the producer and me being, on the whole, a very lucky actor."
Has Sir Ian even been approached about any additional Middle-Earth outings to begin with? According to him:
"Encouragingly, Peter and Fran Walsh have told me they couldn't imagine The Hobbit without their original Gandalf. Their confidence hasn't yet been confirmed by the director Guillermo del Toro but I am keeping my diary free for 2009!"
One wonders if Jackson and Walsh have the same "unimaginable" thoughts about replacing Sir Ian Holm as Bilbo!
I'll be honest here, folks. I love McKellen - the fact that the Academy Awards passed him over for Roberto Benigni (!?!) 10 years ago still pisses me off! And it's beyond awesome that he actually makes it a point to answer questions from his fans.
But if Jackson and Walsh have a falling out with Warner Brothers and walk away from producing/writing the two forthcoming Rings prequels, McKellen will still return as Gandalf no doubt about it.
Remember when his buddy Bryan Singer was having it out with Fox over X-Men 3 and bailed in favor of Superman? He still showed up for The Last Stand under Brett Ratner's direction.
I'm not knocking the guy. But please, this isn't an issue of being honorable like he's suggested in past interviews. Warner Brothers will give him a nice-sized paycheck and, he'll be on set day one. Even if (God forbid) Uwe Boll winds up as the director.