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Let Gandalf Star in a Musical, You Cowards


Let Gandalf Star in a Musical, You Cowards

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Let Gandalf Star in a Musical, You Cowards


Published on January 25, 2022

Screenshot: New Line Cinema
Screenshot: New Line Cinema

Once you have played both Gandalf (above) and Magneto—and Iorek Byrnison!—you should get to do whatever you want. Especially when you are Ian McKellan, whose storied career includes countless roles across stage and screen.

And what McKellen wants is to star in a musical.

“I don’t feel I have much to prove in my career anymore, so why not just do the things I enjoy doing, like getting in front of an audience and entertaining them,” he told BBC Radio’s 4 Today.

Like so many other actors, McKellen appeared in Cats. He played Gus, the theatre cat, who seems to be a tired gent who sort of talk-sings. (No, I did not see Cats.) In the BBC interview, McKellen said, “I can hold a tune but I’m not a proper singer.”

That’s good enough! (See: Rex Harrison’s entire career.) Surely we can find a musical that suits his talents. Wicked has yet to announce its Wizard, and who better to fill those shoes than Gandalf? (Yes, I know, the Wizard is a fraud, just let me make my connections, okay?) Or he could play poor Doctor Dillamond. If Russell Crowe can do Les Miserables, why not McKellen?

Or, you know, they could make Rogers: The Musical a real thing. As far as I’m concerned, McKellen can play whichever of the Avengers he likes. It’s theater! He doesn’t actually have to punch anyone for real! Just let the magic happen.

Surely someone in Hollywood is ready to make Sir Ian’s musical dreams come true. He wants this. The world needs this. Maybe a musical X-Men is next? They do keep trying things with that franchise.

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About the Author

Molly Templeton


Molly Templeton has been a bookseller, an alt-weekly editor, and assistant managing editor of, among other things. She now lives and writes in Oregon, and spends as much time as possible in the woods.
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