‘Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’: Ian McKellen quotes Tolkien [video]

Dec. 12, 2013 | 1:17 p.m.

Martin Freeman as Bilbo, from left, Jed Brophy as Nori and Richard Armitage as Thorin in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

Ian McKellen as Gandalf, left, and Sylvester McCoy as Radagast in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel and Orlando Bloom as Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (James Fisher / Warner Bros.)

Richard Armitage as Thorin, left, and Dean O'Gorman as Fili in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Graham McTavish as Dwalin, left, Ken Stott as Balin, Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Richard Armitage as Thorin and William Kircher as Bifur in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman, left, and John Callen in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Mark Pokorny / Warner Bros.)

Ian McKellen as Gandalf, left, and Sylvester McCoy as Radagast in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Azog, portrayed by Manu Bennett through motion-capture technology, in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

William Kircher as Bifur, left, John Callen as Oin, Richard Armitage as Thorin and Ken Stott as Balin in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Stephen Fry as the Master of Lake-town, left, and Ryan Gage as Alfrid in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Peggy Nesbitt as Sigrid, Mary Nesbitt as Tilda and John Bell as Bain in a scene from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Azog, portrayed by Manu Bennett through motion-capture technology, in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel and Lee Pace as Thranduil in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in a poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel and Orlando Bloom as Legolas in a poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in a poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in a poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in a poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in a poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Orlando Bloom as Legolas in a poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Lee Pace as Thranduil in a poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Luke Evans as Bard in a poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield in a poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in a poster for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." (Warner Bros.)

And now, Sir Ian McKellen would like to make a clarification with regard to one of the most famous lines uttered by his wise wizard Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films.

“You know, ‘You shall not pass’ isn’t in the book at all,” the legendary English actor pointed out, referring to the fantastic literature of J.R.R. Tolkien. “‘You cannot pass’ is what Tolkien wrote. We got it wrong.”

The man who Peter Jackson dubbed “the guardian of Tolkien” held forth on a wide range of subjects earlier this week at a special Hero Complex screening of the new fantasy “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second installment in Jackson’s latest trilogy of films set in Middle-earth.

Arriving in theaters Friday, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” sees Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) continue on his journey to assist the company of dwarfs led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) reclaim their lands and the treasure now hoarded by the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch).

Along the way they encounter a host of new friends and foes — including the valiant Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), the first character wholly invented for one of Jackson’s Tolkien movies.

Presented in IMAX 3D at 48 frames per second, the Hero Complex screening took place Dec. 9 at New York’s AMC 34th Street 14 & IMAX, with McKellen on hand for a special Q&A following the film.

Watch the clip above to hear more of what the 74-year-old actor had to say about playing Gandalf this time out, and look for more clips from the conversation soon.

To find out first about upcoming films that will be featured in the Hero Complex Screening Series, follow us on Twitter: @LATherocomplex.

– Gina McIntyre

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