"I am not under contract, no. I'm not going to say any more than that because it might complicate things! So, I would say - at the moment - no, I am not under contract."
The news is fairly bizarre since Ian McKellen seemed to be quite close to the production in the past. The actor said in September, before The Hobbit was officially greenlit, that the movie would start shooting next January. Although that has now been changed to a February 2011 start date.
It seems negotiations are still ongoing with Ian McKellen for The Hobbit, and we'll be sure to keep you posted with any further information on this highly-anticipated project as soon as we have more details.