Sir Ian McKellen was recently on New Zealand's Good Morning Show and, in usual Ian McKellen fashion, dropped a bomb on fans of The Hobbit as a-matter-of-factly as he would talk about the weather.
The piece of info that McKellen revealed was dire: the window of opportunity for the actor to reprise his role as Gandalf The Grey in The Hobbit is quickly closing, and if MGM continues to delay the film, McKellen may soon be forced to bow out altogether.
Said Sir Ian:
"Well, I’m not under contract and my time is running out and I’m enjoying working in the theater and frankly, I would like to race after doing 'Waiting For Godot,' get on with doing another play but we’ll have to see. I don’t give the producers the impression that I’m sitting waiting."
You can watch a video of the interview by going HERE.
McKellen's sentiment pretty much echoes the exact fears we here at Screen Rant (and a lot of you fans out there) have been expressing for months. We all know that a Hobbit movie is going to happen (the property is too lucrative for it not to), but the danger with this MGM bankruptcy situation is that the delays could force this planned version of the The Hobbit to be scrapped until the movie can be attempted later, once MGM is either in the clear or has become a fading Hollywood memory.
In positive news, Spyglass Entertainment may soon take control of MGM, and early word is that Spyglass would transform the troubled studio into a production-only company. Under such re-structuring, MGM would then sell off its film properties to distributors - meaning The Hobbit could land at WB/New Line, as that studio is already helping MGM finance the film.
I get that business is business and that (from a business standpoint) it would be foolish for MGM to get rid of their most valued properties (The Hobbit and the James Bond series) until they know for certain that they're dead in the water. Of course, we as movie fans are losing in the process.
The MGM delays have already forced Guillermo del Toro off The Hobbit; now Ian McKellen is getting restless and word is Peter Jackson is losing patience too. I think it goes without saying that this project is looking more and more like a cluster bomb disaster with each passing day. Gotta love movie studios (irony alert!).
What do you think about McKellen possibly leaving The Hobbit? Would that be the sign of the end for this film, in your opinion? Is there someone else you could see stepping in to play Gandalf if McKellen can't do it (Patrick Stewart)? Let us know in the comments.
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Source: YouTube via The Playlist