January 5, 2013
James McAvoy Wants To Play Gandalf In THE SILMARILLION
First off, Peter Jackson and New Line/Warner Bros. haven't announced any plans to explore another trilogy based on the Silmarillion. The book is a prequel to both The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings, it's unknown at this point if they even own the rights to make films. However, this hasn't stopped James McAvoy from campaigning for a role in it. He tells TotalFilm that the next role he'd like to tackle would be Gandalf in The Silmarillion. I'm not too familiar with the book but I expect the studio would consider turning it into a third trilogy.
“I’d like to play Gandalf..It’s called The Silmarillion! It’s a collection of poems and songs that chart the ancient history of Middle-earth. My true geek is coming to the fore, but they’re really, really beautiful stories. In part of that is the genesis of Gandalf, or Mithrandir, or Stormcrow, or any of his many, many names. Anyway, maybe that’s the one!”
The Hobbit's current success has proved audiences are still hungry for more Middle Earth adventures. An Unexpected Journey has almost made $800 million worldwide already and won't be exiting theaters anytime soon. Warner Bros. (New Line) originally budgeted for two Hobbit films ($500 million) but they added more to the budget. Including new Battle of The Five Armies scenes to be shot expanding the project into a trilogy. It's possible the studio could strike while the iron is hot and start development on the Silmarillion.
The catch seems to be Peter Jackson is exhausted making these films and likely won't be returning to direct any more installments. Originally, Guillermo del Toro was hired to direct the Hobbit only to exit over lengthy production delays. Jackson reluctantly took the director's chair but brought in Andy Serkis as his second unit director. Serkis has shot a ton of scenes for the trilogy and will be spearheading the Five Armies shoot for There And Back Again. I wouldn't be shocked if they do make these films Andy Serkis could end up being the one to direct them. As Jackson had been mentoring and grooming Serkis to direct future projects during the Hobbit production.