‘The Hobbit’ Will Have Its World Premiere in Middle Earth
Looking forward to The Hobbit? Maybe not so much as the good people of Wellington, New Zealand – which is going to be renamed ‘Middle Earth’ for the world première of An Unexpected Journey (the first in the trilogy) next month. And that’s just part of the 1.1 million New Zealand dollar spending spree the city is fronting for the event, on November 28.
Don’t get too excited though – it’s only for three weeks. Still, the new name (actually ‘The Middle of Middle Earth’) will be displayed on postmarks on letters, and in the main city newspaper, after the Wellington Mayor announced the happy news.
The Hobbit sees Peter Jackson returning to JRR Tolkien’s beloved Middle Earth, following on from the Lord of the Rings movie adaptations. And that definitely calls for a celebration – which is exactly what he’s getting! There will be an artisan festival, Hobbit artwork and a red carpet for the Embassy Theatre premiere stretching 500 yards through the city centre. Sounds like fun, eh?
Jackson, who lives in Wellington, is said to be thrilled with the plans to rename the city.
According to BBC News, the director went on to say: “Nowhere else in the world does a premiere quite like Wellington, and I’m very grateful for the support of the Mayor, the Council and all Wellingtonians.
“It’s special showing any film to an audience for the first time, but even more so when it’s in your home town.”
Apparently the name “reflects Wellington’s position at the heart of New Zealand’s film industry, which now employs more than 3,000 people”. Wellington also has a new logo, which was designed by Daniel Reeve, who also did work on the calligraphy for The Hobbit films.
An Unexpected Journey stars Martin Freeman and Sir Ian McKellen, and will be released world-wide on December 14.