Just a month after the news that Sir Ian McKellen was "waiting for the call" to reprise his role as Gandalf in the upcoming Hobbit films, and a few days after the official announcement that the rumors about Guillermo Del Toro directing are true, TheOneRing.net has gotten word from Del Toro that, "all bureaucracy pending," McKellen is on board to play Gandalf, and Andy Serkis is happy to again lend his body to Gollum. Further confirmation of McKellen's intention to return comes from McKellen's official website (which he maintains himself), where he includes The Hobbit in his filmography. And Serkis seems to have done the same.

In the interview, Del Toro also makes the promising announcement that he plans to treat Peter Jackson's films "as canon," with the only major changes being greater use of animatronics (rather than pure CGI) and a subtly different color palette.

This project has been very abstract in my mind, and my excitement about it has been sort of theoretical and vague -- until now. Now it's coming together, not just as a cool new pair of movies, but as an extension of Peter Jackson's masterpiece. It's hard to describe just how much Jackson's films mean to me (I rewatch them at least annually), and it says a lot about my admiration of Del Toro that I'm not queasy about someone else messing with the saga. It also says a lot about McKellen's importance to the franchise that it took the news of his return for me to wake up out of my stupor and get genuinely psyched. Let the countdown begin.

[parts via CinemaBlend]
categories Movies, Cinematical