New Zealand to host ‘Hobbit’ preem

'Unexpected Journey' to bow in Wellington on Nov. 28

Wellington, New Zealand, will host the world premiere of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” on Nov. 28 at the Embassy Theater.

Jackson made the announcement Wednesday, six months before the first pic hits theaters on Dec. 14.

“We cannot think of a more perfect way to send ‘The Hobbit’ off into the world than to celebrate with a huge party here in Wellington, where the journey began,” he said.

The J.R.R. Tolkien novel is set 60 years before “Lord of the Rings,” with Bilbo the unassuming Hobbit who becomes a hero by obtaining a powerful ring in the face of challenges by the wicked Gollum and Smaug.

The screenplays are penned by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson. Jackson is also producing the films, together with Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham; exec producers are Alan Horn, Ken Kamins, Toby Emmerich and Zane Weiner, with Boyens as co-producer.

The second film, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” is slated for release on Dec. 13, 2013.

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