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Gandalf Without Ian McKellen

hobbit gandalf

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?



  • GilGalad

    Christopher Lee 🙂

  • Maybe God, or…nah, only God could do it.

  • Erranruin

    No, fullstop

  • Pancho

    Albus Dumbledore

  • You want Saruman to play Gandalf? I see issues with that.

  • William

    Liam Neeson !!

  • Mike

    Liam Neeson.

  • Gonzalo

    2Liam Neeson

  • Philip John Cervero

    Shaquille O’Neal

  • Matt

    Morgan Freeman

  • Aaron

    Christopher Lee actually could have done it if he hadn’t played Saruman. He was even promised by Tolkien the role if a movie was ever made. But other than him, I think Liam Neeson.

  • pippo

    Morgan Freeman

  • Sean Connery

  • pippo

    lio messi

  • Liam Neeson

    Liam Neeson

  • Matias

    GOD BLESS YOU IAN!!! Nobody could be gandalf as good as you.

  • Matias

    Liam Neeson hahaha

  • Samuel Pérez García

    Christopher Lee, who wanted that role and ended up as Saruman, would have been a good choice too, although John Hurt would have been closer to the Gandalf McKellen gave us.

  • Jokes aside… Liam Neeson, really? No voice, no charm, dark features. He could have been Boromir or maybe even Aragorn, but not Gandalf. Seriously… SAM NEILL would be the perfect Gandalf! He has an English Lit background, has played Merlin, has an infectious grin, a golden British accent and has ties to the New Zealand fim industry. Please forgive me Ian, but if I had to choose a replacement Gandalf, Sam would be my choice.

  • Peter O’Toole

  • Didact

    Agreed about Liam Neeson, but really the best Gandalf apart from Ian Mckellen is Patrick Stewart.
    He is literally the only other guy that can play him.

  • Matt Lwson

    Brian Blessed! Can you imagine?! He’s scare the hairs of a Hobbit’s feet!

  • Geoffrey Rush.

  • john hurt is good but a bit to small for a Gandalf part – I think he would be better as the brown wizard

  • mitchell blocker

    Hard to think of anyone other than sir Ian but I think Hugo Weaving would’ve done the job brilliantly. Dual roles but it wouldn’t have mattered. Also Anthony Hopkins or Kenneth Branagh would’ve done a splendid job I think.

  • Gypsywitch143

    Antonio Banderas!!! Yessss a latin Gandalf…LOL

  • Rogerio Cormanich

    No way. No other could be in Gandalf shoe´s. Till now It´s hard to accept Bilbo by another actor replacing Ian Holm.