Skip to comments.Sir Ian McKellen returns [as Gandalf] to the big screen in The Hobbit film
Posted on 05/25/2008 6:32:45 AM PDT by yankeedame
By Nick Squires in Sydney
Last updated: 1:28 PM BST 25/05/2008
Sir Ian McKellen will reprise the role of Gandalf the wizard for two films to be made based on Tolkien's classic book The Hobbit, it has been confirmed. The two movies - The Hobbit and a sequel which has yet to be named - will be filmed in New Zealand and released in 2011 and 2012.
Andy Serkis, the actor who played Gollum with the help of digital wizardry, will also return for the Hobbit film, but other characters have yet to be decided.
Details of casting for the two films were revealed by executive producer Peter Jackson and the films' director, Mexican Guillermo del Toro, during an hour-long live internet chat with fans.
The Hobbit films are likely to be as eagerly anticipated as the Oscar-winning Tolkien Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The Hobbit village of Hobbiton would be rebuilt "bigger and even better than it was" in the Lord of the Rings, Jackson said.
"It is unlikely we will need any locations outside of New Zealand, which has always been the perfect Middle Earth," he added.
"There is nothing yet that Tolkien has described that we haven't managed to find in this amazing little country and I expect 'The Hobbit' to be no different."
Earlier this year Sir Ian said he had been told by Peter Jackson that the director "couldn't imagine The Hobbit without Gandalf I am keeping my diary free for 2009!"
Del Toro was confirmed as director last month after the project was given the go-ahead when Jackson and Hollywood studio New Line ended a lengthy battle over dividends from the "Lord of the Rings" series.
The trilogy brought in nearly $US three billion dollars in global box office takings, not counting DVD sales, and between them the movies won 17 Oscars.
In 2004, the final installment "The Return of the King" was awarded the best picture Oscar, the first time ever that a fantasy film won the award.
The Hobbit is set in Middle Earth and is a prelude to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The book tells the story of how Bilbo Baggins sets off on a quest accompanied by 13 dwarves and Gandalf the wizard to confront a dragon.
Pre-production work on the films, which have a combined budget of US$150 million, will begin in 2009. They will be shot back-to-back beginning in 2010.
Good on McKellen, < shrug > on Serkis. Didn’t completely love his Gollum and, as I’ve said, he (or the writers) completely botched what the name “gollum” is about.
Golem and Gollum are not at all the same word, and have nothing to do with each other, if that’s what you mean. Otherwise, I don’t know what you’re getting at. It’s been suggested that Tolkien borrowed from Old Norse language, where the first syllable of his name refers to precious jewelry (like the One Ring would be), and Tolkien wrote that it was a name given to him because of the awful way he constantly swallowed. Gollum was written to be a disgusting wormy character, and he was depicted that way in the movies.
Can you briefly explain what bothered you? I don’t claim to have any great insight, but my husband thought it was pretty good, so I’d appreciate your comments.
Del Toro's work in "Pan's Labyrinth" and the "Orphanage" was masterful, "Hellboy"-not so much.
Sequel? What sequel???
I’m pretty sure their splitting The Hobbit up in two films.
their = they’re. It’s early.
It would probably take two films to really do the book justice. They had to take a LOT out to make the LotR films of reasonable length
I believe that tbe usual theory is that the 2nd movie would be based on events offstage of The Hobbit, such as the Meeting of the White Council, and events subsequent to that, such as the arrival of Sauron into Mordor, leading up to the LOTR.
Ecurbh, I think we need a Ring Ping!
Anyone wishing to be added to or removed from the Ring-Ping list, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Excellent! Thanks for the ping!
That would make some sense. By making it more of a prequel to LotR, they could then put out a 5-movie boxed set in Blu-Ray
Good luck with any new movies for this loser.
Please add me to the ping list. Thanks.
I can't wait. I just got a Blu-Ray and a 1080p 61" screen. It is just staggering how good HD can be.
Lose the tagline. Thanks.
I suppose you folks in the Hobbit Hole have discussed casting already, but the guy I would like to see cast as Bilbo is James McAvoy. I think he'd be perfect. But he may not want to do it after playing Mr. Tumnus in Narnia and being a hot property after Atonement.
I’ve seen him mentioned for Bilbo. He is very hobbity.
We haven’t discussed a LOT of casting issues... mostly just figuring out which actors might return. Aragorn, even for some bit parts... Legolas too I hope could come back, just to give the continuity to the whole series.
That works for me!
So, if at the beginning of the trilogy, Bilbo looks the same age as at the end of the Hobbit, because of the effect of the One Ring, I don't see why Ian Holm couldn't play him. The filmakers could 'age' him slowly through the Hobbit, to match with the younger, then older Bilbo in the Trilogy.
I agree he’d make a great hobbit, and isn’t he going to be in Wanted with Angelina Jolie, too?
As far as other actors go, I read on Ain’t it Cool News (I think that was the site) the other day that Viggo Mortensen had already been signed for The Hobbit, along with Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis. I can see cameos with Orlando Bloom and Liv Tyler happening, since Legolas and Arwen could easily be ‘background’ people in quite a few different places. I don’t think Ian Holm could work as Bilbo, because Frodo and Bilbo were the same age when they went on their respective adventures, and the books seem to imply that Gandalf at least visited Bilbo a few times afterwards.
Ian Holm is a wonderful actor, but he is now 76, and would be 77-78 during filming. That’s even significantly older than when they were filming LOTR. I don’t think it would work. The movie audience would expect a Bilbo like unto the Frodo they saw. I vote for James McAvoy if he is available and wants to do it.
I do like James McEvoy, and he’d be fine, if he’d do it! He may not mind the ‘fantasy’ aspect of it, especially since he must know it will be a HUGH success.
Thanks. He'll probably make bazillions.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.