Written on January 11, 2011 at 4:39 am, by Roger Durling
From the raucous taverns of the Shire to the dreaming spires of Gondor, there will be palpable relief today. Sir Ian McKellen is to reprise his role as the wizard Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s forthcoming two-part Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit.
McKellen will join Andy Serkis in New Zealand next month, the latter having also signed up to return as Gollum, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Both characters play major roles in JRR Tolkien’s earlier tome. With only a short time to go until Jackson begins shooting, there was some degree of concern among fans that their involvement had not been announced.
McKellen and Serkis are not the only Lord of the Rings alumni set to appear in The Hobbit. Rather to the chagrin of some Tolkien purists there are reports that Elijah Wood (Frodo), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel) and Orlando Bloom (Legolas) have all been approached with offers. None of those characters appeared in Tolkien’s book, which sees Frodo’s older cousin Bilbo travelling with a band of dwarves and Gandalf to liberate a hoard of treasure from the sly old dragon, Smaug.