Ian McKellen will return for new Lord of the Rings movie if he's alive

ian mckellen as gandalf holding a sword, lord of the rings return of the king
Ian McKellen teases return for new LOTR filmNew Line Cinema

Ian McKellen has weighed in on the likelihood of him returning to star in the new Lord of the Rings movie.

In early May, Warner Bros confirmed that a new movie will arrive in 2026 titled Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum, with Andy Serkis reprising his iconic role.

In a new interview with The Times, McKellen was asked if he'd come back to play Gandalf for the upcoming film, with the actor making clear his desire to.

ian mckellen as gandalf holding a sword, lord of the rings return of the king
New Line Cinema

Related: Sir Ian McKellen addresses possible retirement

"I haven't shaved in months," he said, seemingly giving a nod to his character, who is known for his beard and long white mane.

"There is no script, there is no offer, there is no plan," he continues, adding that he'd return "If I’m alive."

The acclaimed screen and stage actor has played Gandalf the Great in both the Lord of the Ring and Hobbit trilogies over the last twenty years.

gollum lord of the rings
New Line Cinema

Related: Lord of the Rings cast pay tribute to co-star Bernard Hill following his death

The Hunt for Gollum is the first of several new movies planned for the Lord of the Rings universe, which were announced in February.

Warner Bros confirmed they had teamed up with rights holders Middle-earth Enterprises for more feature films, calling the opportunity to produce more adventures in Middle-earth "an honour".

Serkis will star and direct The Hunt for Gollum with original trilogy filmmaker Peter Jackson back to produce the film alongside Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

andy serkis
Jeff Spicer - Getty Images

The new films will differ from upcoming movie The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, expected in cinemas this Christmas. Promoted as an animated, original story inspired by the works of Tolkien, it features the voices of Succession's Brian Cox and Miranda Otto, who reprises her Lord of the Rings role as Rohan noblewoman Éowyn.

As for McKellen, the actor revealed he had no plans to retire from his craft anytime soon. "While the knees hold up and the memory remains intact, why shouldn't I carry on?" he told Variety last year.

"I really feel I'm quite good at this acting thing now."

The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum will be released in 2026.

You Might Also Like