June 28, 2013 at 07:53 PM EDT

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Current Status
In Season
170 minutes
Wide Release Date
Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Martin Freeman, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood
Peter Jackson
Warner Bros.
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Action Adventure

Ian McKellen has spent fifteen years playing Gandalf the Grey (and then the White) – one of the major character links between the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit. Today, he filmed his last scenes in the role.

Peter Jackson, the director of all 6 of the Tolkien film adaptations, posted a photo with McKellen on his official Facebook page with this caption:

“Seconds ago we finished our last shot with Gandalf. The end of an incredible adventure that began in 1999. I’m feeling very sad right now.”

Comments on the photo have pointed out more opportunities for McKellen to reprise his role, under Jackson’s direction, but the director has expressed his determination to be finished with Tolkien after the Hobbit trilogy. However, there was a time when he had us all convinced he would not return after The Return of the King.

The second Hobbit movie in the trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, opens December 14. The final film, There and Back Again, opens December 13, 2014.

Read more:

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ trailer: Here be dragons, or at least one — VIDEO

First look: Evangeline Lilly’s elf warrior in ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ — EXCLUSIVE

‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ teaser poster: Where there’s smoke…

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