[Main image: Warner Bros.]
There and back again
As the release date draws near for the first entry in the trilogy based on The Hobbit, the locations are already starting to see tourism business flourish. And not a moment too soon, as the economy is not doing as well as it was eleven years ago. The government is hoping they’ll see another boost in the economy like the one that followed The Lord of the Rings. Tourist spending has dropped ten percent since 2008. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
More than a decade after the first decade, visitors to “The Shire” are flocking around New Zealand again, even dressing up in costume to re-create some of the scenes. However, the exact locations used in the new movie haven’t been revealed yet, the filmmakers wanting to leave some surprises for people when the movie screens in Wellington, which will be known as “the middle of Middle Earth” during the week of the premiere. [Scoop]
Ready to put on a Gollum mask and run around saying, “prescioussssss…”?
In The Event of a Water Landing…
When you go to New Zealand, you might fly Air New Zealand, which now features a safety video called An Unexpected Briefing, which features a cameo by director Peter Jackson, along with Gollum and a bunch of Orcs.
“To have Gollum step off the movie screen for the first time and into an Air New Zealand aircraft is incredibly special,” said Mike Tod, Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing and Communications, in a statement about the video, which has received 2.4 million hits in the day since going up.
Even if you’re not flying the somewhat friendly skies, you can watch the video here:
While you’re in the area, you’ll see Gollum in the airport. And now you’ll see Dwarves following Bilbo Baggins in a new Weta-built display at the New Zealand post office.
IGN got the jump on everyone, getting two days to visit the set last may, where they got to spend their time observing the production from ring-side. Still under embargo for most of the details on what they saw and heard, Jim Vejvoda writes that the IGN team got to interview most of the key players. Sir Ian McKellan talks about the new way of shooting his scenes with the dwarves, being on a completely different set with a camera slaved to another camera on the set with the dwarves (which are played by full-size actors, but appear much smaller than Gandalf in the films). McKellan says it was very disquieting, to say the least. [IGN]
Some details can be found over at IO9, which also went on that press junket (our invitation must have been lost in the mail…). There are no photos, but Lauren Davis includes her own sketches recreating the visit very much like you’d see on the news reports covering a trial (only these sketches are much more fun). [io9]
Get Your Tickets Now
Advance tickets go on sale November 7th, with tickets also coming available for the Lord of the Rings trilogy to screen — in their extended editions — December 8th and 9th. This follows the trend set by Marvel Studios and DC when they screened the movies leading up to the release of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. Could we be seeing the beginning of a new way to market movies?
Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed some small bits about his role as Smaug, talking about just how much he (or rather, his voice) will appear in the first movie. Saying he opens his eye, he leaves it open for speculation on what part of the book happens in which movie.
Finally, we leave you with the trailer: