Of course the character were always set to make a return in The Hobbit, but what’s been in doubt has been the actors who originally portrayed them. A few months ago when the main actors (Bilbo and the dwarves) were all signed on, fans were mostly waiting to see Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis sign on…But they didn’t. Then we got Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchet, and even Elijah Wood.
But with filming coming only a few weeks away, many were getting anxious that there was a possibility that these actors would not be returning. Now we can put all of those fears to rest. Andy Serkis, who played the creature Gollum, was confirmed earlier yesterday afternoon and then in the evening Ian McKellen followed suit, by posting a statement on his official website.
The news brings joy to me, as it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the role of Gandalf. While it could work, it would almost completely destroy the fantastic continuity the Lord of the Rings series is known for. Filming is set to begin next month (McKellen’s site says he starts on Feb 21st) and will last for quite a while, with the first part set to release sometime in 2012.