British acting legend Sir Ian McKellen appeared on the BBC talk show "HARDtalk," where he revealed that when fellow actor Richard Harris died shortly after finishing "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," he had been offered the chance to play the part of Dumbledore for the rest of the movie series. The topic was brought up when the show's host, Stephen Sackur, mentioned Richard Harris's heavy criticism of McKellen's acting style as well as the style's of Derek Jacobi and Kenneth Branagh, calling them "technically brilliant but passionless" actors.

McKellen revealed that he had been offered the part of Dumbledore

At this point in the interview McKellen told Sackur that after Richard Harris died he had been contacted by Warner Brothers who had asked him if he would be interested in being in the Harry Potter films. McKellen quickly realized what they were offering him but explained that he could not take on the role of an actor who did not approve of him. The part was then given to Michael Gambon who finished the rest of the franchise. McKellen then jokingly stated that he sometimes gets the two of them mixed up when he sees pictures of them in their costumes.

How would Harry Potter have been different if Gandalf had also been Dumbledore?

One cannot help but wonder how things might have been different if the two most iconic wizards of our time had been played by the same man.

Undoubtedly Ian McKellen would have played the part exceptionally well but this would probably also have caused some confusion among the fans of the two franchises. The world of Middle Earth and the world of Harry Potter already share many similar characters and story elements including wizards, unlikely heroes going on quests to save the world, and dark lords who like to put their souls inside small objects.

sharing the same actor for the mentor character of each story would have blurred the line between these two epic tales even more.

One thing for certain is that it would have added an interesting dynamic to the endless debate of who is the greater wizard. After all, can one be greater than the other if they are both the same person? And now with the new "Fantastic Beasts" movies coming out, the quest to find Albus Dumbledore has begun once again, but this time we will be seeing a much younger Dumbledore.