Back when development on "The Hobbit" seemed as precarious as The Bridge Of Khazad Dum, Ian McKellan gave subtle hints that he wasn't going to wait forever to reprise his famous "Lord of the Rings" wizard Gandalf. 


“Well, I’m not under contract and my time is running out and I’m enjoying working in the theater and frankly, I would like to race after doing ‘Waiting For Godot,’ get on with doing another play but we’ll have to see," he told a New Zealand morning show. "I don’t give the producers the impression that I’m sitting waiting.”


As we all know now, MGM and New Line Cinemas managed to work out their differences with Peter Jackson, who then proceeded to lock down McKellan. As you'll see in this new trailer for the first film of what's recently become a trilogy, we're once again lucky to have such a legendary actor playing Gandalf the Grey. 


"There's a lighter tone to this book 'The Hobbit,' on which the films are based," he recently told io9. "It's the kind of book that a parent would tell a kid at bedtime. It's an adventure story. 'Lord of the Rings' was about saving the world, big time, big duties. Yes, I think we'll all feel a bit more light hearted than 'Lord to the Rings.' "


"The Hobbit: There and Back Again" will be released on Dec. 14.



Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

New 'Hobbit' trailer features more Gandalf
Your return trip to New Zealand's Middle Earth is only a few months away.