ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

So, how did you think The Hobbit compared to Peter Jackson's other Middle-earth epic, The Lord of the Rings? It certainly had a different tone, but which did you prefer? Well, according to Sir his vote seems to go to The Lord of Rings.

In a recent interview with Metro he laid down how Gandalf had changed his career, and why he prefers Tolkien's later magnum opus.

When asked if he thought The Hobbit should have been developed as a trilogy, the veteran actor explained:

I thought it was pushing it to make even two films, which is what we were originally doing, but then I realized that one of the reasons it does spread into a trilogy is that Tolkien can describe something in under a paragraph that will take far longer to replicate on-screen. For instance, 'the army advances'; that’s only three words but involves a lot of visual action. It isn't that the book has been expanded I suppose, it’s that it has gone into all its detail.

He then went on to explain if The Hobbit better lent itself to film than the more complex Lord of the Rings:

It's a simpler little story, lighter in tone and certainly has more comedy, but I think LOTR is the great book because it's about saving the world. If the dwarves in The Hobbit don't make it back then so what, but if Frodo doesn't get the ring to Mordor the consequences are dire. Bilbo may return from his quest a changed Hobbit, but Frodo doesn't make it home at all.

Finally, he revealed what attracts him to his future projects:

Something that I've never done before. Which is why I've just done my first sitcom with Derek Jacobi for ITV [Vicious]. After Gandalf I got offered an awful lot of parts of very old men with beards and I didn't want to do another of those, so either a different sort of character or a different medium, that’s what keeps me stimulated.

Is Ian McKellen right for preferring The Lord of the Rings, or do you think The Hobbit is a better book or film series? Tell me about it below.


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