McKellen, Serkis to return for ‘Hobbit’

Although he claims, referring to the incident with the dragon, that he was barely involved and all he did was give Bilbo Baggins a little nudge out of the door, Gandalf the Grey will once again be portrayed by Ian McKellen in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

He is the most recent in a list of actors signed to the project, including Andy Serkis who will again bring life and heart to the computer animated Gollum, creating a veritable Middle Earth reunion. Other returning cast members include Elijah Wood as Frodo and Cate Blanchett as Galadriel.

The two-part prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy has been rife with pitfalls and production delays. But MGM announced it has emerged from bankruptcy and reached an agreement with Warner Bros., which will take over the international distribution and video rights, in exchange for the remaining financing the company needed.

Hobbit is scheduled to start shooting Feb. 14 in New Zealand. Warner Bros. and MGM have planned the release dates for December 2012 and December 2013.

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