Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit will have its world premiere in the director’s hometown of Wellington, New Zealand, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The film, subtitled An Unexpected Journey, is the first segment of a $500m (£310m) two-part adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy novel and will arrive in the capital in November 2012. Jackson told local media that Warner Brothers had made the decision to debut the film there after the unexpected success of the world premiere of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which was also launched in the city. “No one, I don’t think, in the international industry could quite believe how the country got behind that moment,” Jackson said of that premiere, which saw approximately 120,000 people take to the streets of the city.
Jackson is currently 110 days into filming his Hobbit adaptation, which stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and sees the return of many Lord of the Rings actors, including Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Cate Blanchett, to Hobbiton. The set, built specially for the Lord of the Rings films at Matamata on New Zealand’s north island, was converted into a tourist theme park after filming on the trilogy ended. The park has been closed to the public while filming on The Hobbit continues.
The second part of Jackson’s Hobbit adaptation, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is set for release in December 2013. It is not yet known whether that, too, will premiere in Wellington.