Sir Peter Jackson has given movie fans around the world a glimpse into what they can expect from his upcoming movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - the highly anticipated second instalment of The Hobbit Trilogy set to hit cinemas on 13 December.
Fan packed event
The world-renowned director held court in front of excited Tolkien fans at Wellington’s Embassy Theatre - the iconic 1920s art-deco building that has previously played host to the glittering world première of the Sir Peter Jackson directed The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, King Kong and more recently The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
New Zealand actor Jed Brophy, who plays Nori the dwarf in The Hobbit Trilogy, joined a relaxed, bare-footed Sir Peter Jackson on stage at the theatre.
The duo was joined via live video-link by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug actors including Orlando Bloom (Legolas) and Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield) from a fan-packed theatre in New York.
Evangaline Lilly (Elf Tauriel) answered questions in front of a live audience in Los Angeles. Lee Pace (Elf King Thranduil), Luke Evans (Bard the Bowman) and Andy Serkis (Gollum and second unit director) joined in the conversation from London.
The event, streamed live via YouTube, gave fans around the globe the chance to ask the New Zealand director and the actors about the impending movie.
Evangaline Lilly opened up about her role as elf beauty Tauriel, a brand-new character introduced for The Hobbit Trilogy, while Orlando Bloom - who has reprised his role of Legolas - revealed the first thing he did on his return to New Zealand, a decade after filming The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, was to try on his previous costume - which, apparently, still fits the British actor.
New production diary
The event also saw the release of a new production diary. The diary offers fans a behind-the-scenes look into the last 10 weeks of shooting and post production of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Sir Peter Jackson also promised more production blogs to come as fans gear up for the release of the film.
New Zealand is looking forward to the eyes of the world once again being on the beautiful landscapes that play a major role in The Hobbit Trilogy.
In the North Island, visitors and Tolkien fans can experience Middle-earth at Hobbiton - the now-permanent film-set used in both The Lord of The Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit Trilogy - set in the luscious green rolling hills of the Alexander farm near Matamata.
Hairy Feet Waitomo, in the quaint village of Piopio, is one of the newest movie-based adventures on offer that steps back in time and into Middle-earth exploring various locations from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on a guided van tour.
Goblins in caves
Just north of Piopio - in the world-famous Waitomo Caves - is Ruakuri Cave, which provided the sound track for the goblin cave scenes in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Barrels have inspired a new tourism activity in the Marlborough sauvignon wine region in the South Island that takes tourists on a canoe trip to the spot where a scene from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was filmed.
Pelorus Eco Adventures offer guided canoe tours down the Pelorus River to the location of the ‘dwarves in barrels’ scene. The three-hour trip in tandem inflatable canoes explores the crystal clear waterway, stops at waterfalls and introduces local wildlife such as rainbow and brown trout.
Misty Mountain Paths
In Queenstown, Nomad Safaris - an established tourism operator with over 20 years’ experience - takes tourists into New Zealand back country and The Lord of the Rings locations.
With the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Nomad Safaris is now taking visitors into the region where the Misty Mountain Paths were filmed at Glenorchy - a 40 minute drive around Lake Wakatipu from New Zealand’s tourist adventure playground.
About 'The Hobbit' Trilogy
The second and third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduring and popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: There and Back Again continue the adventures of title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and 13 dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens worldwide beginning on Friday, December 13, 2013. The Hobbit: There and Back Again is scheduled for release in 2014.
New adventures in Middle-earth
The Hobbit Trilogy: Production blogs
Hobbiton - from family farm to film fame
Hairy Feet continue Middle-earth journey
The Hobbit Trilogy