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Over 100,000 turn out for Return of the King premiere

Story by: Jack Foley

AS anticipation reaches fever pitch ahead of the final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King, thoughts have already turned to the possibility of bringing more of JR Tolkien’s work to the big screen.

Over 100,000 people lined the streets of the New Zealand capital, Wellington, on Monday (December 1), for the world premiere of Peter Jackson’s final film, only to hear that the possibility of The Hobbit being turned into a film was a distinct possibility.

Upon being asked about the possibility, Jackson said he would be ‘keen’ to make a film about Bilbo Baggins’ adventures, despite not yet having been approached, while Lord of the Rings executive producer, Mark Ordesky, chief operating officer of film studio, New Line, told a press conference that ‘there could be a movie about The Hobbit’.


The world première took place in Wellington, as it was the city where much of the trilogy's production has been based. It attracted a quarter of the city’s population.

Most of the stars of the film attended, including Liv Tyler, Sir Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood, while Jackson, himself, confessed to feeling ‘incredibly humbled’ by the wonderful reception.

The cast took part in a street parade - started by Prime Minister, Helen Clark - before treading the 470-metre (514-yard) red carpet outside the city's Embassy Theatre.

The Return of the King will be released around the world between December 17 and 20 and clocks in at three hours, 11 minutes, with many predicting that it will be better than the first two films in the series.

The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers have taken almost $1.8bn (£1.05bn) between them at global box offices - and the new film is expected to top that.

Turning to the definite future, however, Jackson said he was looking forward ‘to becoming a New Zealand film-maker again’, after his next project, a re-make of King Kong, which is expected to keep him busy for the next couple of years.

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