Since the unexpected kick in the Bilbos that was Guillermo del Toro’s departure from the director’s chair of the two Hobbit films there’s been speculation heaped upon speculation as to the state of the film and the identity of the incumbent director.

David Yates? No. Neill Blomkamp? No. Peter Jackson? Maybe, and while sets are being built and scripts revised there’s another pressing concern, how will the delays come to bear on the schedules of the actors already linked to the project.

In particular Lord of the Rings crossovers Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen as Gollum and Gandalf. Serkis has just accepted the role of Caeser in the prequely reboot Apes film Rise… and though technically another actor could fill in I doubt Jackson will have anyone else in the role.

As for McKellen, currently in New Zealand touring with Waiting for Godot, he appeared on a Good Morning show talking all things Godot and Frodo – with The Hobbit coming up and it’s the first real news we’ve had for a while – even though the only news is that McKellen knows nothing expect that an announcement is imminent.

Here’s the clip, which gets to Middle Earth around four minutes in.

My hope is that the imminent announcement is that the two Hobbit films are going ahead, with or without Peter Jackson at its Helm, and that the role of Gandalf will be filled by the only actor capable of appearing in the role – and I mean that in terms of continuity rather than quality.

Certainly McKellen doesn’t seem to enthused by the delays and almost resigned to the Hobbit films falling into the category of the Greatest Films Never Made.

BC2 (Brendon from Bleeding Cool) found the clip and posted his thoughts here.