From Eric Spitznagel at Vanity Fair: If you’re the kind of person who gets obsessive about all things Tolkienian, it’s been a pretty big week. Sir Ian McKellen made it official Tuesday, announcing on his Web site that he’ll playing Gandalf in the upcoming two-part movie adaptation of The Hobbit, which begins filming in New Zealand next month. Along with recent reports that Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, and the guy who plays Gollum are also Hobbit-ready, it would seem that the band, as they say, is really getting back together. But for anybody who’s followed the Internet hand-wringing about the on-again-off-again production, it can feel presumptuous to assume anything until we actually see the opening credits roll. For most of 2010, McKellen kept us guessing about his involvement in the Lord of the Rings prequel the way some actors keep us guessing about their sexuality. As least with McKellen, there’s never been any mystery about the latter. This is a man who famously went on a talk show in Singapore, a country with strict laws against homosexuality, and asked the host, “Can you recommend any decent gay bars?” But when it comes to his future as Middle Earth’s favorite wizard, he’s been downright cagey. More..