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The Hobbit in danger of losing Ian McKellen due to the troubles at MGM

Well, this is just prime. The sting of Bond 23's cancellation is still fresh, and now The Hobbit may lose another key member of its team: Gandalf. This also comes on the heels of Guillermo del Toro's exit as director due to the continued delays in production. We still don't know if Peter Jackson will helm the picture himself or search for another director--an official status update is expected soon. McKellen isn't thrilled about the delays.

"Well, I'm not under contract and my time is running out, and I'm enjoying working in the theatre....Frankly, I would like to race after doing "Waiting for Godot", get on with doing another play, but we'll have to see. I don't want give the producers the impression that I'm sitting waiting." (a great LOTR site) found a video of the conversation. McKellen is doing press rounds for his new play, Waiting for Gordat. It's a lengthy video, but it's always fun to listen to Sir Ian.

The situation gets worse. Movie industry workers have already begun leaving Wellington and New Zealand (where The Hobbit will be filmed) because of the project's limboed status, and the cancellation of more immediate projects in the area.

I certainly hope MGM lets production resume/commence. At the very least, it could sell the rights and pay back some of its debt, estimated at $2.4 billion.

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