TV & Movies

Why Sir Ian McKellen Did Not Want To Play Albus Dumbledore In The 'Harry Potter' Films?

An old man with a long beard, are you telling me they are not the same? After Richard Harris died, Ian McKellen rejected to be Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter saga

By Ingrid Mateos

- January 05 , 2022 - 21:17 hs
Ian McKellen, Richard Harris, Michael Gambon (Gandalf, Dumbledore)

Ian McKellen, Richard Harris, Michael Gambon (Gandalf, Dumbledore) (Warner Bros)

If you are into the geek world and have seen most of the fantasy films that exist out there, you probably have seen the Harry Potter franchise and know who is who when talking about its characters. We are also guessing that you know about 'The Lord Of The Rings' saga, created by J.R.R. Tolkien and later adapted to films by Peter Jackson. Well, there has been a rumor on the internet for a long time that Sir Ian McKellen was the one to portray Albus Dumbledore, but such a thing never happened.

Recently, after the Potterheads found out that Michael Gambon did not attend the Harry Potter reunion because he is suffering Alzheimer's disease, many of the wild theories about the magical world resurfaced, and one of the most interesting is the one where fans reflect on why Sir Ian McKellen did not want to play Album Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films and the reason is, according to the actor, a thing of principles.

READ MORE: Why Michael Gambon Did Not Attend The Harry Potter Reunion?

Sir Ian McKellen portrayed Gandalf The Grey (later Gandalf The White) in 'The Lord of The Rings' films and later in 'The Hobbit' saga. Needless to say that Gandalf is quite an important and powerful wizard and at the same time the trilogy was being filmed and released, it was almost the same time that an unfortunate event happened in the Harry Potter saga, Richard Harris who portrayed Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films died.

The production went to a halt trying to find out their new Hogwarts' Headmaster, and, for more than obvious reasons. Everyone turned to look at Ian McKellan who was the obvious option since Dumbledore and Gandalf look alike. (Do not say it is not true, you know you are lying).

Long story short, Sir Ian McKellen rejected to be Albus Dumbledore and at the time no reason was given but years later and after much speculations, the actor revealed the truth.

In a very interesting interview with the BBC, it was revealed that when alive, Richard Harris and Ian McKellen had a drama between them. According to Sir Ian, Richard Harris called him “technically brilliant, but passionless” actor. Was it enough reason for him to reject the role in Harry Potter? Of course, because he could not get over the idea of taking a role from some who, apart from dead, did not approve of him

“When he died, he played Dumbledore, the wizard. I played the real wizard,” McKellen said. “When they called me up and said would I be interested in being in the Harry Potter films, they wouldn’t say what part, I worked out what they were thinking. And I couldn’t. I couldn’t take over the part from an actor who I’d known didn’t approve of me.”

On the funny side of the story, Ian McKellen added that Michael Gambon was a perfect choice and that just like some people out there, he sometimes confuses himself with Gambon. “When I see the posters of Mike Gambon… I think sometimes it is me.”

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Ingrid Mateos

I am an Entertainment news writer at Show News Today. I love all about movies, royalty, and pop culture but also enjoy writing about the latest celebrity gossip. I have a B.A in E.L.T and a diploma in Tourism Studies. When not working with words, you can probabaly find me watching BBC'S Sherlock for the umpteempth time or an old movie.

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