Ian McKellen Doesn't Believe Final 'Hobbit' Film Is "End of the Journey"

Domestic Box Office

Wrapping up with a strong Christmas play period, 2013 was a record-setting year at the domestic box office. For the first time ever, domestic box-office revenue hit $10.9 billion, up roughly 1 percent from the record $10.8 billion earned in 2012, due in part to a robust holiday season that was up 10 percent over the previous year. End-of-year big hitters at the North American box office included Warner Bros.' The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Disney's runaway family hit Frozen and Will Ferrell comedy Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

The actor, who has played Gandalf six times, thinks Peter Jackson may revisit Middle-earth in the future

This is the end. Or is it? 

After six films and countless hours of screen magic (depending on whether you were hardcore enough to sit through the extended editions of each film), The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the final chapter of Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy, which followed his era-defining Lord of the Rings trilogy, and one would naturally assume to be the last time we will pay a visit to Middle-earth. 

Well, Gandalf isn't so sure. 

Speaking to the BBC at the London premiere of Battle, Ian McKellen, who plays the great grey wizard, said Jackson told him he was planning to leave J.R.R. Tolkien's works behind after The Return of the King but was eventually drawn back to it.

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"I was told by Peter, in 2001 that that was the end, that it was all over," he said. "Here we are 13 years later. So I don't believe necessarily that this is the end of the journey."

McKellen may have been playfully speculating, but given that Jackson returned to Middle-earth once before, and given that he has spent a decade or more creating the infrastructure necessary to make more films (he has gone to great lengths to create elaborate sets, studios, weapon and armor makers, and puppet workshops, to name just a few), the idea doesn't seem so outlandish.

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True Tolkien fans will also know that The Silmarillion, a pre-history of Middle-earth, is an ample source material for future films.  

Either way, McKellen sees Jackson's legacy as something that will live long into the future. "The movies will go on being seen, people will come to them freshly for the first time...the thing goes on living," he said.