Peter Jackson Shows Off New Zealand Sites, HOBBIT Props


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Peter Jackson, director of the new HOBBIT trilogy, showed off some sights from his native land of New Zealand Saturday in Beverly Hills, along with some life-sized props and sets from the second part of the trilogy, THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG.

The new movie is scheduled to reach theaters in the United States on Dec. 13.

Movieguide® Publisher Dr. Ted Baehr met briefly with Jackson for a quick photo op and got a chance to invite him and his team to the 22nd Annual Movieguide® Faith & Values wards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry, set for Friday, Feb. 7, at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Universal City, Calif.

Jackson wasn’t alone in presenting the life-sized props and huge photos of the New Zealand locations where THE HOBBIT was photographed. He also brought with him his star, Martin Freeman, who plays the title Hobbit character, Bilbo Baggins, as well as Richard Armitrage, who plays Thorin Oakenshield, the heroic dwarf leader of the dwarf party that Bilbo joins in the fantasy saga.

Needless to say, Armitrage is no dwarf but stands a regal six foot two in real life, while Freeman is a more diminutive five foot six.

Accompanying Freeman and Armitage from the cast Saturday night were Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, and Dean O’Gorman.

“THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG is an exciting epic adventure,” Dr. Baehr said. “New Zealand is a beautiful place.”

The props and large photos are part of a life-sized pop-up book display of New Zealand, coinciding with the Hollywood world premiere of THE HOBBIT:  THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG.

The display is about the size of two tennis courts and 50 feet high. It’s been divided into four sets representing new locations from the film – Hidden Bay (Turoa, Ohakune), Forest River (Pelorus River, Marlborough) Lake-town (Lake Pukaki, Mt Cook), and Beorn’s House (Paradise, Queenstown).

The props include a giant wooden armchair from the “skin-changer” Beorn’s house, waterside houses and a boat from Lake-town, and a giant bust of the dwarf king Thror.

A special public tour on Dec. 4 will allow fans a chance to see the display.

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