Ian McKellen Gollum Movie His Last Role Ever?

By Douglas Helm | Updated

Ian McKellen is one of the best actors of our time, and he may be wrapping up his career with the upcoming Lord of the Rings movie, Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum. This would be a perfect full-circle moment for the actor, with the wizard Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy being one of his most beloved roles. The legendary actor recently spoke to the UK paper The Times about the upcoming prequel, saying he’s open to reprising the role, “If I’m alive.”

No Script, No Offer, No Plan

Ian McKellen also noted that Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum hasn’t extended the offer yet, saying, “But there is no script, there is no offer, there is no plan.” McKellen also spoke about how he’s more selective about his movie roles now, saying, “When a script [or offer] comes through, you think, ‘This might be my last job. No. I’m not doing that.’”

There’s No Other Gandalf

Despite this selectiveness, Ian McKellen clearly sees how special it would be for him to reprise the role of Gandalf in Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum. McKellen first appeared in the Lord of the Rings trilogy in The Fellowship of the Ring, completely embodying the beloved character from Tolkien’s novel trilogy. In a movie trilogy full of perfect casting, McKellen certainly topped the list for his portrayal of Gandalf.

The Hunt For Gollum

lord of the rings

Based on the title, the upcoming prequel film is presumably based on the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, where Tolkien reveals that Gandalf the Grey sends Aragon on a quest to find Gollum to prevent him from revealing secrets of the One Ring to Sauron. Given Gandalf’s prominent role in this tale, it would make sense that Ian McKellen is a major part of Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum. Of course, we already know that Andy Serkis is returning as the titular character and that he will also be directing the film.

Viggo Mortensen In The Mix?

Original trilogy director Peter Jackson and his partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are returning to produce the project, while Walsh and Boyens also co-write the script with Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou. The pieces are in place for this to be a truly great Lord of the Rings film.

Andy Serkis’ involvement is crucial, and if Ian McKellen and Viggo Mortensen both return as Gandalf and Aragorn, respectively, then hype for Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum will be at an all-time high.

Like Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen has also said in an interview that he would be open to reprising his role as Aragorn in Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum. However, he did caveat that they’d need to find a way to make his age work or that his age should make sense for the character. It’s a good point, but you’d have to imagine makeup and de-aging technology is good enough now to make it work with Mortensen.

War Of The Rohirrim

Whether Ian McKellen and Viggo Mortensen are involved or not, we’ll be seeing Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum hit theaters in 2026. We’ll also get a new Lord of the Rings film much sooner than that. The animated film War of the Rohirrim hits theaters in December 2024.