Could McKellen return as Gandalf? Nothing has been ruled out.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power attempts to stand apart from Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings film series, but Gandalf actor Ian McKellen could apparently return to play the wizard again in the show. It’s still very early days and nothing is confirmed, but The Rings of Power executive producer Lindsey Weber said in a new interview that the team hasn’t ruled anything out.
Weber said in the latest issue of Total Film that the production team is “open to anything with these characters,” and this includes the potential return of McKellen as Gandalf. “Who would say no to Ian McKellen? Nobody on the planet would say no to Ian McKellen,” Weber said.
McKellen himself has said, or joked, that the fact that he is 83 years old would not limit his ability to appear in The Rings of Power because the character, too, is quite old.
He said on BBC2 in March 2022 that, as of that time, no one at Amazon called him about appearing in The Rings of Power. “I gather that Gandalf won’t be a part of [The Rings of Power], and if he is … well it’s the one part you can’t be too old for,” he said (via Distractify).
Showrunner Patrick McKay told Total Film that the team is not interested in adding in Middle-earth characters just for the sake of it. “It’s pretty important to us that there’s some real precedent in the lore and the themes that obsessed Tolkien,” McKay said.
Whether or not Gandalf is even in Middle-earth during the Second Age is not strictly clear, but The Rings of Power is a work of original fiction and there could be any number of possibilities for how certain characters could show up.
Galadriel and Elrond, two characters who appeared in Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings series, will be central to The Rings of Power, while the evil Sauron will appear as well. So there will be some overlap in Jackson’s series and the new Amazon show.
The Rings of Power premieres September 2 on Prime Video. Check out the gallery above to learn more about what we found out about the show at Comic-Con recently.
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