12:42pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Lord of the Rings': Could Ian McKellen Reprise Gandalf for Amazon?
Ian McKellen's days playing Gandalf may not be over.
As Amazon Studios plots a TV series based on Lord of the Rings, the actor behind the 7,000-year-old character indicated in a new radio interview that he would be open to reprising his role from the Peter Jackson features.
"I haven't been asked," McKellen told British host Graham Norton when asked whether he'd been approached for the role of Gandalf in the planned two-season Lord of the Rings TV series.
McKellen, who played the wizard in all three Lord of the Rings features as well as prequel The Hobbit, seemed surprised that another actor could embody the role and told Norton: "What do you mean, 'Another Gandalf'?!' And while McKellen, 78, has yet to be approached for a potential role in the Amazon drama, he joked that he isn't too old to play the part of a 7,000-year-old wizard.
Amazon Studios acquired global television rights to the Lord of the Rings franchise and handed out what sources say is a five-season commitment — plus a potential spinoff — in what is estimated to be a $250 million deal. Once production budgets, casting, writers, producers and visual effects are factored in, the total for the Rings series — which will be set in Middle-earth and explore storylines preceding The Fellowship of the Ring — could hit $1 billion.
TV Line first spotted the Norton interview.