Ah, the last one. Surely inspired by Christopher Lee, but he makes a good Saruman, so why chance it? I'm looking forward to what the whole White Council scene will become. (You are still planning on Erestor and Celeborn as well?)
Yes, and I'm thinking about adding Thranduil to the charac. sheets series, given his role with Gollum. He's considered as one of the possible participants. He may have participated at one session of the Council at least, since there were many gatherings between the wizards and the wisest elves, and not particularly in Imladris.
Yes, I've always considered Thranduil a possible member of the White Council as well. His realm has always been close to the influence of the Shadow, so these matters concern his as well. Had he not been included, the White Council would have been pretty much an affair of the High Elves only, and I think both sides must have learned at least something from what happened with Oropher. "You will unite, or you will fall," applies to the elves as well.
Well it is said that during one of the white council sessions (perhaps the last before they go to Dol Guldur, I have to check) Gandalf already suspects Saruman to search for the One Ring for himself. So I wanted to draw him on the way to his corruption.
I saw him like 4 years ago in Paris, as he was participating to a Tolkien musical tour. When I heard his voice as he entered the scene, I almost cried, lol. He looked so old and weak but his voice was still powerful.