Robyn Malcolm has welcomed the "massive" news Amazon studios will film and produce a new Lord of the Rings series in New Zealand - but thinks Gandalf should be played by a woman.

The New Zealand actress told Heather Du Plessis-Allan on Newstalk ZB's drive show "we don't need another old dude" to play the wizard Gandalf.

"I think Gandalf should be a woman this time," she said. British actor Sir Ian McKellen played the wizard in New Zealand director Peter Jackson's film trilogy.

Robyn Malcolm thinks the new Lord of the Rings series should put a different spin on the story. Photo / NZ Herald
Robyn Malcolm thinks the new Lord of the Rings series should put a different spin on the story. Photo / NZ Herald

"We've had enough of old wizards, Ian McKellen did a beautiful job...why not have Judi Dench? Or actually an old Maori kuia would be a fantastic direction to take."

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Dame Judi Dench, 84, recently told the Daily Mirror she isn't going to retire from acting anytime soon.

"I'm doing the job I would retire to do," she said.

Judi Dench pictured in the James Bond film Skyfall. Could she be the next Gandalf? Photo / Supplied
Judi Dench pictured in the James Bond film Skyfall. Could she be the next Gandalf? Photo / Supplied

Malcolm added the series should strive for diversity and a "different perspective on magic" since the series is being made so soon after the conclusion of the film franchise.

West Auckland will be the main base for the five-year production and the series is set to cost upwards of $1.5 billion.

The last The Hobbit movie premiered in 2014, a prequel to the Lord of The Rings series which was split into three films.