Every time it seems like The Hobbit is back on track, something comes along and threatens to derail the project. The biggest specter looming over the film is still MGM's financial situation. But, in weeks past, we saw Guillermo del Toro leave the project (bad news), Peter Jackson step back in to direct (good news), and now Ian McKellen is saying maybe it's time for him to move on (more bad news). This thing's like a roller coaster ...

McKellen has been tentatively penciled in to play Gandalf the wizard. However, the actor recently appeared on New Zealand's Good Morning program and dropped some bombshells that could shake Middle Earth to its very core. McKellen stated that he's not under contract and that he's not willing to wait around forever for this project to come together. And why should he? The film needs him more than he needs to play Gandalf again.

The actor tells the show, "Well I'm not under contract and my time is running out and I'm enjoying working in the theatre and frankly, I would like to race after doing Waiting For Godot, get on with doing another play but we'll have to see. I don't give the producers the impression that I'm sitting waiting."

Hit the jump to see McKellen's interview, then drop by the comments section to discuss. Here are two questions to get you started. Can The Hobbit work with a different Gandalf or would seeing a different actor in role ruin the film for you?