Gandalf Without Ian McKellen
Could you imagine it? It is hard to even think of anyone else wearing those white or gray robes and uttering the wizard spells with such force as does Ian McKellen. However, it was a close reality when The Hobbit movies were first being discussed. Sir Ian was reluctant to return to Middle Earth and bring back Gandalf. In his own words with an interview Hollywood Reporter, he said,
“Gandalf is still inside me, as it were,” he said. “So the business of getting to know a new character — I was sort of going to be robbed of that.”
Anyone familiar with McKellen’s career knows that he takes his roles very seriously. No wonder why he enjoys theater, as well as the big screen, to spend his time. In fact, when whispers of The Hobbit began to arise, McKellen was vocal about doubts to participating in the project. For a character as dominating as Gandalf, it is hard to return to such a role, especially for someone like Sir Ian, who enjoys the experience of getting to know and ultimately becoming a new character, as many great actors do.
I am sure, Peter Jackson himself had many conversations with McKellen in hopes to convince him to join the reunion. As we know, it worked and we are now blessed to see Gandalf return to the screen.
Obviously no one comes close, but can you think of anyone who could have come close to filling the shoes of Gandalf in absence of Sir Ian? We would love to hear some ideas?