As MGM’s woes drag on, holding up the progress of more than one mega-franchise, more and more figures involved with the films cast their doubts about any eventual progress. In a recent interview with TVNewZealand Gandalf himself, Sir Ian McKellen, expressed his own unwillingness to sit waiting for the start of The Hobbit when it may well never happen. While he is far from being overly negative or cynical about the film’s prospects, he makes it clear he won’t be holding up his life or stage pursuits if the film doesn’t come to fruition in reasonable time.

Well, I’m not under contract. And my time is running out. I’m enjoying working in the theater and, frankly, I would like to race after doing Waiting for Godot and get on with doing another play. But we’ll have to see. I don’t want to give the producers the impression that I’m sitting waiting.

He did give his thoughts on how the production may remain shaped by Guillermo, even after his much ballyhooed departure.

I can’t anticipate that, and I think it would still, if that’s the outcome, be some sort of collaboration because Guillermo has participated in writing the script, and has done many of the designs, but always in collaboration with WETA and Peter Jackson who is a producer after all, and one of the script writers. So I think the Del Toro influence will be there, but I really can’t anticipate.

McKellen is an old pro and honestly reveals little if nothing that we don’t already know. I was interested in running the piece anyway because the rest of the interview which includes McKellen’s wonderful thoughts about Waiting for Godot, as well as his comments on the state of worldwide civil rights progress are all very much worth watching. Embedded below is the interview, with a bit of Hobbit-talk and a ton of charming old actor.

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