Moviegoers may know him as the voice of Gandalf in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, or as a villain in the “X-Men” movies. But New Yorkers may soon know Sir Ian McKellen for an entirely different reason – as the voice of downtown Brooklyn. The British stage and screen actor has donated his voice to a four-minute, 21-second promotional video in which the Academy Award nominee touts downtown Brooklyn’s future.
“New Yorkers will enjoy a revitalized area that is an engine for economic growth, a place to pursue new careers, a neighborhood where young couples can watch their children thrive, a college town for students to follow their dreams – a true urban center for the city’s great borough of Brooklyn,” McKellen extols in a pronounced British accent.
The video, commissioned by the public-private Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, highlights key development projects planned for the neighborhood’s $9 billion renaissance.
As many as six new hotels, a park called Willoughby Square, dozens of luxury condo buildings and the construction of a 299-seat theater in the BAM Cultural District are planned.
“Here you have this internationally recognized star and he was performing in downtown Brooklyn,” said Joe Chan, president of the partnership.
McKellen has appeared in three shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, most recently as “King Lear.” Sir Ian McKellen lends voice to Brooklyn promotional video