James McAvoy: ‘I want to play Gandalf’

Actor eyeing role as iconic wizard in 'The Silmarillion'

James McAvoy has revealed that it’s his ambition to play Gandalf on the big screen.

Talking to Total Film, the actor – who has starred in cinematic blockbusters such as Atonement and X-Men: First Class – said he wanted to play the iconic wizard in the future.

McAvoy also lined up a potential project in which he could play the role, which has been taken on by Ian McKellen in Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit.

Making reference to The Silmarillion, another tome by JRR Tolkien, he said: “I’d like to play Gandalf,” before saying of the text: “It’s called The Silmarillion! It’s a collection of poems and songs that chart the ancient history of Middle-earth. My true geek is coming to the fore, but they’re really, really beautiful stories.”

“In part of that is the genesis of Gandalf, or Mithrandir, or Stormcrow, or any of his many, many names. Anyway, maybe that’s the one!” he added.

Last month, it was reported that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey set a new US box office record in its opening weekend after raking in $84.8 million (£52.4 million) – the highest three-day total of all-time in the month of December. In addition to McKellen, it also features Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Sylvester McCoy and Benedict Cumberbatch. Scroll down and click ‘play’ to watch the trailer.