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NZ readies for star-studded Hobbit premiere

A host of stars will all attend the world premiere of the first Hobbit movie in New Zealand next week.


Cate Blanchett

SIR Peter Jackson will be joined by the likes of Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving and Barry Humphries at the world premiere of The Hobbit movie in New Zealand next week.

Warner Bros has announced the stars who will attend the first screening of  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in Wellington.

Blanchett plays Elf Queen Galadriel, Serkis reprises his role as Gollum, Weaving plays Elf Lord Elrond and Humphries plays the Goblin King in the prequel to the Lord of the Rings series.

Filmmakers Sir Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens will also be joined by: Martin Freeman, who plays the central role of Bilbo Baggins; Richard Armitage, who stars as the dwarf warrior Thorin Oakenshield, and Elijah Wood who plays Frodo Baggins.

There may be a nearly 10-metre statue of Gandalf the Grey above Wellington’s Embassy Theatre, but the actor who plays the character, Sir Ian McKellen, won’t be there to see it for himself.

McKellen said he was sorry he could not attend.

“I know they (the cast) will have a wonderful welcome from the fans and I envy them. As ever, my heart is in Wellington, and I send my love.”

Wellington is spending $NZ1.1 million ($A871,943) on activities in the week of the premiere, temporarily calling itself “The Middle of Middle-earth”.

The film is released globally on December 14.