Ian Mckellen Still “Not Signed” on as Gandalf for Hobbit
Just when everyone thought that conflict was in the past regarding The Hobbit…Think again. At least, that is what Ian Mckellen is saying. Of course we all know Mckellen as the role of the popular Gandalf from Lord of the Rings and it is hard to imagine anyone else playing that role. However, in a recent interview BroadwayWorld conducted with Mckellen, the actor said that, as of now, he is not contracted. He said, “I am not under contract, no. I’m not going to say any more than that because it might complicate things.”
Mckellen had expressed frustration with the delayed progress of the movie and had made subtle comments hinting that if things take too much longer, he would have to move on with his career. Sources close to the situation say this may be “negotiation tactics” on behalf of Mckellen as he has recently been in talks with the studio. So, don’t go pulling out your hair yet and we will keep you posted as any new news is released.
In other news, it was announced that one key factor in keeping the movies in New Zealand was $25 million worth of subsidies that was offered from New Zealand to keep the production on the island. One big reason why the studios were looking elsewhere for production is because of the recent large gain of the New Zealand dollar made on the US dollar (near 54% since 1999). The bill was passed today in New Zealand legislation. I am sure the $25 million will be a worthwhile investment, considering that the Lord of the Rings trilogy added an estimated NZ$350 million into the economy over the 3 years it was shot there, as well as a huge boom in tourism due to the production location.
Let us know who you think has any chance of filling Mckellen’s shoes as the role of Gandalf (if any) in our Hobbit Message Board.