TIME Europe magazine talked to Ian McKellen about The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He says he's very careful to choose only high-quality scripts.
"Gandalf goes on such a huge journey. The rustic magician is brought back to life, and he's suddenly more vigorous, single-minded. It's very Shakespearean; many of his characters go on spiritual journeys. I was worried that losing [Gandalf's] charm and his naughtiness when he returns from the dead might diminish his popularity, but he's stayed so popular I've been asked to go back and shoot some more scenes for the third film."
If fans can't get enough of the old wizard, neither can McKellen, who refuses to accept that the part ends with the trilogy's final installment. He has a grand idea for the prequel. "I want to play Gandalf again, in The Hobbit. I've asked Peter Jackson if he'll produce the prequel as a huge, yearlong television series. All those different strands to the story seem perfect for TV, and we'd do every scene of it. It could be marvelous."