The Lord Of The Rings star SIR Ian McKellen is considering his own involvement in The Hobbit, after discovering Peter Jackson will not direct the upcoming movie adaptation of JRR TOLKIEN's classic book. In an email to a fan website earlier this week (ends24NOV06), Jackson revealed bosses at New Line Cinema had told him he would not be signed to make JRR TOLKIEN's classic or another The Lord Of The Rings prequel. Jackson and his production company Wingnut Films are currently embroiled in a legal dispute with New Line Cinema over royalties from The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. And MCKellen, whose Lord Of The Rings character GANDALF also features heavily in The Hobbit, has serious doubts about returning to Tolkien's fantasy world without Jackson. He says, "I'm very sad as I should have relished revisiting middle Earth with Peter again as team-leader. "It's hard to imagine any other director matching his achievement in Tolkien country."