Ian McKellen full scale promoting 'The Hobbit' on 'The Colbert Report' (Video)

By Matthew Dougherty,

Sir Ian McKellen is doing press rounds for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and defended the decision to make it a trilogy and appeared on The Colbert Report.

McKellen is returning as Gandalf the Grey in his fourth film under the direction of Peter Jackson.

Over the summer, it was revealed that The Hobbit, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel of just over 300 pages, would be split into three films.

Many are claiming this is move to just get more money. McKellen says differently.

"Anyone who thinks Peter Jackson would fall for market forces around him rather than artistic integrity doesn’t know the guy or the body of his work," the veteran actor said according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Entertainment Weekly has a video from last night’s Colbert Report on which McKellen appeared.

He spoke of the franchise, as well as his other claim to fame in geekdome, Magneto from the X-men films.

When Colbert moved the conversation to McKellen’s role as a gay rights activist, he joked that the sequel to The Hobbit would star “Gandalf the Gay”.

This is a part of a whole week of episodes dedicated to the opening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The film opens December 14.

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