SIR Ian McKellen will soon wrap up his duties in New Zealand.
The former Wigan resident revealed that filming for The Lord of The Rings prequel The Hobbit is expected to finish at the end of July and it was coming along well for its confirmed US release on December 14.
And the star, who plays Gandalf in the popular series, added that he may also return for some more shooting next year for the second part of The Hobbit: There and Back Again.
He also revealed that premieres for the Middle-earth movie adaptation are currently being planned for Tokyo, Berlin, New York City and London.
In between filming, the Shakespearean bard has also been touring his one-man show at theatres across New Zealand to raise funds to rebuild the earthquake-damaged theatre in Christchurch, and as a one-off, the cast of The Hobbit films joined him on stage last week.
And Sir Ian’s charitable efforts have headed back home, as he gave Aylesbury film-maker Luke Mordue a £500 cheque to help kick start his career after he posted him a copy of his short films.
Luke said: “I had given up, then suddenly I got an email from Sir Ian McKellen, saying how much he much liked it and wanted to be part of it. Two days later a cheque came from him. He is a generous man and I still can’t believe it. Sir Ian said ‘If you can do this on no budget, imagine seeing what you could do with funding.’”