McKellen spoke with Sci Fi Wire about the scripts, except that the role of Gandalf was particularly tailored to his sensibilities this time around.
"As Peter [Jackson] has said, they loved writing Gandalf [for 'The Hobbit'] because they knew who they were writing for," said the actor. "There are a lot of characters in 'The Hobbit,' including, crucially, Bilbo, and they don't know who's going to play Bilbo. So it's extremely attractive that this part has been written for me. The other Gandalf was written for, well, just as Gandalf. There's lots for me to enjoy, in all sorts of ways. And I couldn't be happier. But I'm sworn to secrecy. I'm not to say anything at all about the script."
"They are the same person," he said. "They were separated at birth. They're twins. They have the same attitude. Neither likes working in Hollywood. They're both fascinated by fantasy and violence on the screen, and gore, and things that frighten you. They like going into the psyche. They're both brilliant storytellers in very much the same way. And I think the script, because I have read it, plays very much to Guillermo's strengths, as I've seen them. I have seen his other movies, and people act very well in them. So I think it's all fine. And Peter will always be there."
As for his own level of excitement going into "The Hobbit," McKellen said that he couldn't believe that it's already been 10 years since he first donned Gandalf's gray robes.
"I remember being told by a friend in Hollywood that 'your life is going to change,' and it has," said the actor. "Gandalf is an extremely famous character, and I quite like having him around the corner. He's very popular."
Are you excited for McKellen's return to Middle-Earth? Do you think "The Hobbit" will live up to the hype? Let us know in the comments section and on Twitter!