Ian McKellen has posted on his website that he will slip back into Gandalf’s gray beard when The Hobbit begins filming this July.
Through New Line Cinema and director Guillermo del Toro, McKellen posted the following about the prequel to The Lord of the Rings: “Filming will take over a year. Casting in Los Angeles, New York City and London has started. The script too proceeds. The first draft is crammed with old and new friends, again on a quest in Middle Earth. The director Guillermo del Toro is now living in Wellington, close to the Jacksons' (Peter, director the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and the studio in Miramar.”
McKellen was nominated for an Oscar for his work as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.