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Darren Bevan: The Hobbit premiere day is finally here


By Darren Bevan

Published: 5:15AM Wednesday November 28, 2012

It's finally here - Wellington's big day in the sun.

Final touches have been made to the red carpet near the Embassy Theatre and the stars are expected to arrive from 4.30pm, with the crowds expected to greet them.

Having been in the capital for the past few days, it's clear to see that it's going to be a massive party for all involved.

Yesterday the remaining cast and crew flew into Wellington on the Hobbit themed Air New Zealand 777-300. After the plane landed, the cast and director Sir Peter Jackson were all reunited on the stairs outside the aircraft, where it was clear the Fellowship bond, which was a central part of the Lord of The Rings trilogy, was still in full effect.

Laughing and smiling, all of those who attended the photo call - from Sylvester McCoy, who plays Radagast the Brown in the Hobbit, to Elijah Wood who returns as Frodo - clearly share strong ties to each other. The previous members of the Fellowship got tattoos to cement their friendship and there are reports that the 13 dwarves from the new film all had rings made at the end of the filming process to commemorate what they had been through.

Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Evangeline Lily, James Nesbitt, Graham McTavish and a host of other names will join director Peter Jackson and star Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins in the film, for the premiere.

Tourism New Zealand and businesses nearby will also be hoping to benefit from the boost in numbers expected to flock to the premiere. It was believed some 150,000 had already attended the Waitangi Park Hobbit themed Artisan Markets which kicked off at the weekend. And Tourism New Zealand's launched a full on friendly assault on the hordes of media who've flocked to the capital for the premiere, with media being taken on Lord of the Rings themed tours to showcase the finest locations used in the film. Staffed by an extra who played an Elf in Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers and run by the Rover Tours Film Location company, the trips take in parts of Mount Victoria and Kaitoke National Park, which doubled for Rivendell in the first trilogy.

Shops and businesses are decked out in Hobbit bunting, with posters of Martin Freeman, clutching his blade Sting on every corner.

Now, it's just hoped the weather will play its part on the big day - as the attention turns to the dresses and outfits on the red carpet.

Pre-carpet entertainment will begin at 3pm today and the filmmakers and stars of the film will begin to walk the more than 500 metres of red carpet from Reading Cinema to The Embassy Theatre at 4.30 pm.

New Zealand audiences will be able to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when it hits screens on December 12. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is due for release in December 2013 and The Hobbit: There and Back Again is due out in July 2014.

ONE News and will have live coverage of the Hobbit premiere on Wednesday, November 28. ONE News will be using the hashtag #HobbitNZ for all Hobbit-related tweets.