When Sir Ian McKellen finally decides that enough is enough, and he quits acting so that he and Sir Patrick Stewart can spend their days entertaining the masses on social media, it will be tough to figure out his most iconic role. Actually, no it won’t. Sorry, X-Men fans, there’s only one real answer to this burning question, and we all know that Sir Ian McKellen will forever be remembered as Gandalf from The Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit trilogies. But is Sir Ian done playing the glorious wizard? Well quite obviously yes. But just to drive the point home, he has now verbally ruled out ever portraying Gandalf again.
The English actor made this declaration during his recent appearance on Larry King Now (via Comic Book). When the host asked him whether after 15 years and 6 films he had any interest in reprising the role, McKellen provided a rather unequivocal answer.
While we’d all love to see Sir Ian McKellen back up on-screen again as either Gandalf The Grey or Gandalf The White, there is now scant chance of that occurring. That’s because the man who created the character of Gandalf, and then put him in The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, has been dead for more than 42 years.
Sure, Peter Jackson was able to stretch The Hobbit into three films, much to the annoyance of some J.R.R. Tolkein die-hards, but if anyone ever decided to create an original story that revolved around Gandalf, not only would they likely be sued to within an inch of their life, but they’d also be mercilessly attacked by fans of the character.
Still, it wouldn’t necessarily be as bad as you’re thinking, though. I mean, just look at Ian McKellen’s most recent cinematic release: Mr Holmes. Based on the 2005 novel, A Slight Trick Of The Mind, Mr Holmes told the story of a 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes, who is now retired and struggling to remember the details of his final case as old age ravages his mind.
It’s also one of the most underrated and poignant films of the year, with McKellen absolutely knocking it out of the park as the elderly Holmes. Surely something in the same vein, where Gandalf is retired and living in the Undying Lands alongside his old pals, struggling to remember his greatness, would be worthwhile.
Actually, even after briefly considering that, I instantly see how tedious and turgid it would be. I apologise for wasting your time.