Lord Of The Rings actor SIR Ian McKellen is hoping to reprise his role as wise wizard GANDALF in the film's prequel The Hobbit.

According to industry insiders, it's only a matter of time before acclaimed director Peter Jackson takes on the new project, which chronicles the adventures of hobbit BILBO BAGGINS and features some of the characters from the Middle Earth trilogy.

And McKellen has already warned New Zealander Jackson that failure to include him in the new cast will result in the end of their friendship.

He says, "I think it will be made. The rights are divided between NEW LINE CINEMA and another company.

"Once they reconcile that and divide up the booty they'll ask Peter Jackson. And if he doesn't ask me I'll be very annoyed."

22/12/2003 14:13