The upcoming The Lord of the Rings television series from Amazon is promising to be one of the biggest shows of the generation, but it’s going to have to be seriously impressive if it wants to win over the hearts of fans of the Peter Jackson movie trilogy.
Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in both LOTR and The Hobbit Trilogy, has already expressed his desire to continue in the role for the Amazon show, but another LOTR actor has a different idea in mind.
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However, Robyn Malcolm — who played Morwen in The Two Towers — thinks Amazon should move with the times and cast a woman as Gandalf.
Speaking to New Zealand site Stuff, Malcolm said, “Those old legends, those old mystical stories, they’re so based within a patriarchal landscape. Why not look at the magic of a matrilineal world where the magical powerhouses are women?”
While her words are sure to be divisive among fandom, Malcolm even has some suggestions for who could play a female Gandalf. She continued, “If you need a big star and somebody that everybody knows and everybody already thinks of in Ian McKellen terms, then of course you go to Dame Judi or Eileen Atkins or Maggie Smith.”
The main grumble is that Lord of the Rings is supposed to be a prequel series rather than a full reboot. Technically, since the show doesn’t take place in the Third Age of Middle Earth, Gandalf isn’t around.
Similarly to if someone turned Daenerys Targaryen into a man in a possible Game of Thrones spin-off, there would probably be some raised eyebrows.
In 2017, Amazon won a bidding war on a par with the Battle of Helm’s Deep and secured the rights to produce at least five seasons of a Lord of the Rings series. Production is set to start next year, and while there’s no news on the cast, Will Poulter is tipped to play the show’s lead.
Lord of the Rings is rumoured to be the most expensive TV series ever made, so it’s not like the network can’t afford the likes of Dench and Smith. However, I’m not sure the J. R. R. Tolkien purists will ever be on board with this one.
Featured Image Credit: New Line Cinema