Today – 28th October – it was announced that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will have its world premiere in Wellington, New Zealand, in late November 2012. Wellington previously played host to the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King premiere in December 2003.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Hobbiton set in Waikato, director Peter Jackson said: “I think Warner Bros in particular were blown away by the The Return of the King premiere – no one in the international industry could quite believe how the country got behind that.
“I think everyone involved is quite keen to let New Zealand have the premiere of the first Hobbit movie based on the reception that we had for the last The Lord Of The Rings movie.”
It was also announced the Hobbiton set near Matamata would be left intact permanently. “I’m actually thrilled that a set as gorgeous and beautiful as this can stay here permanently,” said Peter. “The last set here was mainly polystyrene and was taken away to the tip. So for 10 years it’s been the place that Hobbiton used to be and you could walk around seeing where Hobbit holes used to be.
“We’re literally finishing up here today. Our second unit will be shooting here for two or three days next week and then, we walk away. We walk away and leave this place as is, so people can come and see it.”
This is fantastic news about the Hobbiton set and I think that it is only fitting that the premiere will be held in Wellington.
As I wrote in my top 10 fantasy movie locations post, I would love to visit Hobbiton:
Hobbit holes. Pure and simple. Hobbits must be the most eco-conscious of all Tolkien’s creations. Not only do they live in environmentally-friendly homes but they also love gardening and do very little travelling. If they do fancy a stroll, they simply walk with their fantastically furry feet. I love hobbits. In hobbits Tolkien created a peaceful, charming race with terrific personalities. Their homes are terrific, too.”
Now that there is an opportunity to visit the set I better start saving up for my plane ticket!