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Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf. (Image: New Line Cinema)

Sir Ian McKellen has nearly 60 years of acting experience on stage and screen, but his most famous role is probably Gandalf. The veteran thesp first played J.R.R. Tolkien‘s iconic wizard in director Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy, then reprised the role in Jackson’s The Hobbit movies. Now he’s suggested that he could return to Middle-earth again.

During an interview on Graham Norton‘s U.K. radio show, McKellen was asked about Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series. “Now isn’t that annoying?” Norton said playfully. “That there’s going to be another Gandalf in town?”

According to Digital Spy, McKellen replied: “What do you mean, another Gandalf? I haven’t said yes because I haven’t been asked.”

McKellen, 78, then added: “But are you suggesting that someone else is going to play it? Gandalf is over 7,000 years old, so I’m not too old.”

It’s hard to deny that McKellen has a point: Gandalf isn’t a role with a shelf life, and the actor might fancy adding an Emmy nod to the Oscar nomination he earned for 2002’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Amazon’s head of scripted programming Sharon Tal Yguado announced its multi-season Lord of the Rings series last month. Matt Galsor, a representative for the Tolkien estate and trust, said at the time: “We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for The Lord of the Rings. Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.”

No casting for the show has been announced yet, so in theory, McKellen is still very much in the running.

Would you like to see Sir Ian McKellen play Gandalf again — or should another actor be given a chance?

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By Nick Levine