Xoanon here,

WOO HOO!!! Ian McKellen, recently from God’s and Monsters will play the wizard Gandalf. My sources say that Ian had been in close communication with PJ’s people all week and the last hurdle was the casting difficulties with his upcomming role as Magneto in Bryan Singer’s X-Men being filmed in Toronto, Canada. AICN has confirmed what our sources have been telling us all week, read on:

The word currently is that McKellen will be going into New Zealand in January fresh off of finishing his role up as Magneto in Bryan Singer’s X-MEN. He will then be a part of the production for… ELEVEN MONTHS. The word circulating my spies in New Line and Weta is that Ian read all 3 scripts and adored the project and felt it was a great part. It also seems that New Line has been completely and totally behind the idea from the get go and were quite accomadating with allowing room for his role as Magneto.

More info to come!

Also confirmed is Ian Holm for Bilbo. I loved him in The 5th Element. This is a very good sign if these two actors are signed on for these important roles. You can see Ian in other roles in films such as eXistenZ, Joe Gould’s Secret, The Match, Shergar, Simon Magus, A Life Less Ordinary, Night Falls on Manhattan and will soon be on Alice Through the Looking Glass on TV and Esther Kahn, directed by Arnaud Desplechin