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Ian McKellen to play Gandalf in ''The Hobbit''?

The actor has reportedly stated that he’ll be back for the ”Lord of the Rings” prequel — but there’s no deal yet

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Will Sir Ian McKellen reprise his role as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit, for director Guillermo Del Toro? It could happen. On Wednesday, the British magazine Empire quoted the actor as saying, ”Yes, it’s true. I spoke to Guillermo in the very room that Peter Jackson offered me the part and he confirmed that I would be reprising the role. Obviously, it’s not a part that you turn down, I loved playing Gandalf.” According to the Associated Press, however, McKellen’s publicist cautioned, ”Of course he wants to do it, but nothing’s been agreed or signed.”

The 68-year-old McKellen portrayed the aged wizard in director Peter Jackson’s three Lord of the Rings movies, earning a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for his work in The Fellowship of the Ring. Based in part on J.R.R. Tolkien’s earlier novel, The Hobbit is scheduled to be a two-film epic that will be executive produced by Jackson and directed by Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) during the next four years.

In the same article in Empire, McKellen also said that he does not expect to reprise his role as Magneto in any future X-Men spinoffs.