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McKellen may get back into wizarding

Sir Ian McKellen has welcomed news that a film of The Hobbit may finally emerge from legal wrangling, and said he’d be happy to play Gandalf again. "I am glad to read that it is looking more and more likely," he said sonorously, a knowing twinkle in his eye as he reached for an apparently harmless big stick. "I suppose if I am still functioning and working well, it is very likely I would be asked to do it and if I were, I would be very pleased to do it."

The massive success of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy has led to renewed interest in a version of Tolkien’s prequel. The rights to the book are part-owned by New Line Cinema, which produced the original trilogy. However, Jackson and New Line are involved in a legal dispute about profits from the franchise, which makes it unlikely that he would direct any Hobbit film they produce.

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