Thursday, 23 November 2006, 08:37 GMT
from da BBC
Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings films, has voiced dismay over the decision to drop Peter Jackson as director of The Hobbit.
"I'm very sad as I should have relished revisiting Middle Earth with Peter again," the actor wrote on his website.
"It's hard to imagine any other director matching his achievement in Tolkien country."
Jackson refused to discuss working on the Hobbit until a DVD royalty dispute with New Line Cinema was settled.
But New Line said it had only "limited time" to make the film and was proceeding without the Oscar-winning director.
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Boycott New Line, for what it's worth/which is not much
Halo film also shelved