The Hobbit fans put on their best pointy-ears, adorned themselves in medieval costumes, and converged upon New Zealand’s capital city. The massive gathering of Hobbit lovers camped out overnight in order to get the best viewing spot for the red carpet extravaganza organized for the world premiere of the film.
Director Peter Jackson and most of the post production crew for the new Hobbit movie are based in Wellington. The city had been dubbed “the Middle of Middle Earth,” according to Reuters. Diehard fans were easy to spot in the enormous crowd gathered for the movie premiere. Wizard hats, The Hobbit ears, and flowing gray beards were the order of the day in New Zealand.
Tens of thousands of spectators were expected to arrive along the road leading to the theater for a chance to get a glimpse at cast members as they rolled along. The New Zealand theater was decorated like the entrance of a Hobbit house. Three giant trolls, wizard Gandalf, and several other creatures from TheHobbit: an Unexpected Journey, were placed along the street.
Peter Jackson began making Oscar-winning movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien characters in New Zealand more than a decade ago. Residents reportedly hold TheHobbit and Lord of the Rings is extremely high esteem. Tolkien’s great grandson, Royd Tolkien, also reportedly came out for the premiere. The Hobbit fans from both America and Europe hopped a plane to New Zealand so they too could be a part of the world premiere excitement.
Although fans are eager to buy a ticket and watch the movie, the making of the film was not without controversy. A dispute with unions over labor contracts prompted government intervention to change employment laws. Warner Brothers was reportedly given “increased incentives” to keep film production in New Zealand. Animal rights activists planned a red carpet protest because 20 animals slated to appear in the film died on a farm where they were being housed, according to CNN.