Ian McKellen Says He'd Reprise His “Lord of the Rings” Gandalf Role in Upcoming “Gollum” Movie 'If I'm Alive'

Sir Ian McKellen said that he’s heard about the “stirrings in Tolkien land,” including Andy Serkis’ ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum’

<p>Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/Getty; Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> (Left-right:) Ian McKellen on April 11; in

Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/Getty; Moviestore/Shutterstock

(Left-right:) Ian McKellen on April 11; in 'The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring'

Sir Ian McKellen is open to returning to Middle-earth.

The British star, 85, admitted he was open to reprising the role of Gandalf — “If I’m alive,” he quipped — in an interview with The Times of London published Friday, June 7.

Following his hit trilogy of films adapting J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings books, in which McKellen played the wise wizard Gandalf, filmmaker Peter Jackson is teaming up with Andy Serkis for The Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum, scheduled for a 2026 release.

Warner Bros. announced May 9 that Serkis, 60, will direct as well as reprise his role as Ring of Power-obsessed Gollum a.k.a. Sméagol in the upcoming installment, with Jackson, 62, signing on as producer. Joining them on the producing team are filmmakers from the Oscar-winning original trilogy including screenwriters Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

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McKellen told The Times that he’s heard of the “stirrings in Tolkien land,” including the feature-length Gollum and another Middle-earth movie from Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema. Other recent adaptations of the beloved fantasy author’s work include the Amazon Prime Video drama The Rings of Power (season 2 premieres Aug. 29) and the anime-style feature film The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim in theaters Dec. 13. 

“But there is no script, there is no offer, there is no plan,” added McKellen. The X-Men star broke out as Gandalf in 2001’s The Fellowship of the Ring, earning an Oscar nomination, and reprised the role in Jackson’s follow-up trilogy adapting Tolkein’s The Hobbit.

Related: Ian McKellen Says His Life 'Changed for the Better' After He Came Out as Gay

<p>New Line/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> Andy Serkis in 'The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King'

New Line/Kobal/Shutterstock

Andy Serkis in 'The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King'

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In a statement about The Hunt for Gollum, Jackson, Walsh and Boyens said, “It is an honor and a privilege to travel back to Middle-earth with our good friend and collaborator, Andy Serkis, who has unfinished business with that Stinker — Gollum!"

In an interview with Deadline last month, Jackson teased that “it’s too soon to know who will cross his path” in reference to Gollum’s upcoming movie. “We really want to explore his backstory and delve into those parts of his journey we didn’t have time to cover in the earlier films… suffice to say we will take our lead from Professor Tolkien.”

Related: Man Dressed as Gandalf Bumps into Ian McKellen While on a Pub Crawl: Watch!

McKellen is currently on London’s West End playing Falstaff in a new version of William Shakespeare's Henry IV, called Player Kings. Of potentially playing the bearded Gandalf again, the knighted actor noted to The Times that he hasn’t “shaved in months.”

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