Stars turned out in Wellington today for the long-awaited premiere of Peter Jackson’s latest Tolkein blockbuster The Hobbit.
A specially Hobbit-decorated Air New Zealand jet brought in
cast, crew and studio officials for the premiere in the New Zealand capital.
Early arrivals included Cate
Blanchett who plays Galadriel, and British actor Sylvester McCoy.
Martin Freeman, who plays the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, Hugo Weaving, and Elijah Wood were also expected.
The Hobbit movies are based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s book and
tell the story that leads up to his epic fantasy “The Lord of
the Rings”, which Jackson made into three Oscar-winning films
about 10 years ago.
The Hobbit is set 60 years before “The Lord of The Rings” and was
originally planned as only two movies before it was decided that
there was enough material to justify a third. The first is called “The Hobbit: An unexpected journey”
The fans were out to watch the red-carpet arrivals,
“It’s been a 10-year wait for these movies, New Zealand is
Tolkien’s spiritual home, so there’s no way we’re going to miss
out,” said office worker Alan Craig, a self-confessed Lord of
the Rings “nut”.
The production has been at the centre of several
controversies, including a dispute with unions in 2010 over
labour contracts that resulted in the government stepping in to
change employment laws, and giving Warner Brothers
increased incentives to keep the production in New Zealand.
The second film “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” will
be released in December next year, with the third “The Hobbit:
There and Back Again” due in mid-July 2014.