http://movieweb.com/ian-mckellan-not-signed-for-the-hobbit/Concern arose over McKellen being unable to reprise the role he so lovingly brought to life in the original The Lord of the Rings trilogy when the actor revealed on November 2nd that he had not yet signed a contract to return. He did not explain further, hoping too not complicate the matter any more than it already was.
Late Wednesday, in a rather subtle move, Ian McKellen broke the news that he is indeed returning to the world of The Hobbit by updating his own personal website. Here is what he wrote in his 2010 feature film section:
"The Hobbits, two films, start shooting in New Zealand in February 2011. Filming will take over a year. Casting in Los Angeles, New York City and London has started. The script too proceeds. The first draft is crammed with old and new friends, again on a quest in Middle Earth."