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 Mission: Impossible II Almost Cost Ian McKellen the Roles of Gandalf and Magneto

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Mission: Impossible II Almost Cost Ian McKellen the Roles of Gandalf and Magneto Empty
PostSubject: Mission: Impossible II Almost Cost Ian McKellen the Roles of Gandalf and Magneto   Mission: Impossible II Almost Cost Ian McKellen the Roles of Gandalf and Magneto EmptyMon Jul 20, 2015 7:10 pm

A mixture of script secrecy and bad timing almost cost Ian McKellen two of his most well-known roles.

McKellen told People that he was offered a role in Mission: Impossible II, but the studio refused to let him see the whole script for fear of leaks. Against the advice of his agent, he turned the role down, despite the opportunity to work with Tom Cruise. The very next day he was contacted by both Bryan Singer for X-Men, and by Peter Jackson for The Lord of the Rings.

Even then, X-Men almost got in the way of the fantasy trilogy. "It had to delay, delay delay," said the actor. "So I had to call up Peter Jackson and say, 'I'm sorry. I can't play Gandalf because X-Men, which I agreed to do first, is overrunning.'"

Jackson agreed to keep the part open in case he could make it, and Singer felt so strongly that McKellen had to play Gandalf that he made sure to finish shooting in time. In the end, Singer got him out with three days to spare. Meanwhile, Mission: Impossible had hit so many of its own timing snags that it would've prevented both roles if he'd agreed to it.

"It's all about luck – being there at the right time and ready for it," he said. "You can't prepare for luck. I've learned that you've got to be ready for the luck when it arrives, but you're going to need the luck."

McKellen wasn't the only one torn between the espionage blockbuster and the burgeoning superhero series. Scottish actor Dougray Scott was set to play Wolverine in the original X-Men, but had to drop out because he was still busy with M:I2. A fellow known as Hugh Jackman was able to step in, however. You may have heard of him...
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Mission: Impossible II Almost Cost Ian McKellen the Roles of Gandalf and Magneto

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