It turns out Ian McKellen isn't quite done with Gandalf the Grey just yet! The legendary actor will be portraying the famed wizard once more this summer, but not in a movie. This time around he will be playing Gandalf, along with some of his other characters from his long career, in a stage show for a limited run in London.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 77-year-old actor will be playing Gandalf once more in a one-man show called Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You. The show is said to feature the actor taking a look at his five-decade career by revisiting certain characters and moments from movies and plays he has appeared in. He will also be discussing his work with other actors and directors and, perhaps most exciting, audience members will get the opportunity to ask questions and participate onstage. Here is what Ian McKellen had to say about the show and why he decided to do it.
"I'm performing at Park Theatre to help raise funds for the charity. In a short time the theater has established itself on both the theatrical and local maps. But with no public subsidy for core costs they need to bring in donations of around ৶,000 ($311,000) every year just to keep the doors open."
As exciting as the prospect of seeing Sir Ian McKellen play Gandalf one last time may be, it is a shame that only a select few audiences who can make it to the shows in London will get to see him do it. Perhaps someone like Fathom Events can step in and broadcast one of the performances in theaters one night or something along those lines so that more people can enjoy Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You? After all, if the goal is to raise more money for charity, doing something like that could only serve to help that cause. The ticket prices for the actual show will reportedly be higher than normal, but Ian McKellen says that the money will support Park Theatre's "core ambition of producing accessible theater throughout the coming years and furthering their work with the local community."
Ian McKellen first portrayed Gandalf the Grey in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and went on to play the character in five more movies. Though The Hobbit trilogy wasn't nearly as well received by fans or critics, his portrayal of Gandalf was one of the best parts of those movies. For what it's worth, the Lord of the Rings trilogy remains one of the greatest trilogies ever made and grossed $2.91 billion worldwide, in addition to receiving quite a few Academy Award nominations. The Hobbit movies grossed just a tiny bit more, bringing in $2.93 billion worldwide. But when adjusted for inflation, Lord of the Rings still comes out on top. In any case, a great deal of that success is owed to Ian McKellen and his portrayal of Gandalf.
It isn't clear what other characters that Ian McKellen will be revisiting during this one-man show, but he has a very big catalog of characters to choose from. Perhaps he can bust out a stage version of Magneto to provide some villainy in order to contrast the heroic nature of Gandalf? Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You will run July 3-9 at London's Park Theatre.