Middle Earth mania in New Zealand for Hobbit debut
WELLINGTON (AFP) - Up to 100,000 people are expected to crowd into central Wellington Wednesday for the world premiere of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, an event that has sparked Middle Earth mania in New Zealand.
Presenters on national radio greeted listeners in the fictional language elvish on Wednesday morning, while newspapers came with complimentary Hobbit posters and sculptures of characters from the film dotted the capital.
Hundreds of fans, many in costume, staked out spots early in the day hoping for a glimpse of stars such as Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood and Martin Freeman treading a 500m red carpet leading to the Embassy Theatre.
"It's going to be magical," said Mia Ramsden, who travelled from Melbourne, Australia, for the premiere and camped overnight in central Wellington dressed as the elf queen Arwen to claim a prime position to view the stars.