Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, says it was "lovely" to go back to New Zealand to film The Hobbit.
The star told reporters ahead of a panel for giant pop culture showcase, Comic Con, in San Diego that he was happy to reprise his character.
"It was lovely to be back in New Zealand with the people who make the films, many of whom were on Lord of The Rings 13 years ago, so it's been a little bit like going home," Sir Ian said.
Many fans waited overnight to attend the panel where Sir Peter Jackson was joined by Sir Ian, actors Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, script writer Philippa Boyens and surprise guest Elijah Wood.
The audience went crazy when the panel opened with a 15-minute behind-the-scenes video featuring interviews with the cast and crew as well as footage from scenes featuring explosions and fights.
Another 12-minute clip showed scenes from the film, including how hobbit Bilbo Baggins joined 13 dwarves on a quest to rescue a lost dwarf kingdom from the clutches of evil dragon Smaug, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, and Bilbo's life-changing meeting with Andy Serkis' Gollum, whose "precious" ring was the subject of the Rings trilogy.
Sir Peter revealed at Comic Con that he was in discussions about splitting The Hobbit: There and Back Again, the sequel to 2012's much-awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, into two separate films.
"We have certainly been talking to the studio about some of the material we can't film, and we've been asking them so we can do a bit more filming next year.
"I don't know what would come of that, whether it'd be extended editions or whatnot. But those discussions are ongoing," Sir Peter said at a press conference at Comic Con, Australia's Sky News reported.
Sir Peter told the audience that the new epic was "made by fans, for fans".
The film is due in cinemas on December 14.