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Elijah Wood Returns to Middle-earth with Air New Zealand for Final ‘Hobbit’

Latest video wraps up three-year association between the airline and 'The Hobbit' films

Elijah Wood is returning to the Shire on board Air New Zealand.

The actor who starred in New Line’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is helping hype the final installment of “The Hobbit” films with an appearance in Air New Zealand’s newest safety video themed around the fantasy series.

There are the requisite dwarves, orcs, elves, vast vistas and mountain ranges in what the airline calls “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made,” which wraps up a three-year partnership between the films and the carrier.

“We are very proud to be the official airline of Middle-earth and have worked hard over the past three years to create highly effective global marketing campaigns, including distinctive branded aircraft and Hobbit-inspired online content, which have got the world talking about both our airline and destination New Zealand,” said Air New Zealand head of global brand development Jodi Williams.

New Zealand director Taika Waititi (“What We Do in the Shadows”) directed the film over six days, with Waititi appearing as a wizard. “Hobbit” and “Rings” director Peter Jackson also appears in the video, along with Weta Workshop co-founder Richard Taylor, and actors Sylvester McCoy (Radagast) and Dean O’Gorman (Fili the Dwarf).

A number of New Zealand’s Middle-earth locations seen in the films, including Hobbiton and Central Otago, were used for the safety video. Weta Workshop supplied costumes and more than 150 make-up prosthetics, with Weta Digital creating the visual effects.

The video will help promote “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies,” which debuts in December.

Air New Zealand created the first “Hobbit”-themed safety video, titled “An Unexpected Briefing,” for the airline in 2012, and released it online where it generated over 12 million views. Over time, other videos, including one featuring Betty White, have been viewed more than 30 million times online.

“Air New Zealand has created yet another fantastic video to celebrate The Hobbit films,” Jackson said. “This latest offering combines members of our cast and our locations with Air New Zealand’s unique personality. I had a lot of fun on the set with Taika and the team and look forward to seeing the video on board.

“We’re confident our final Hobbit-inspired on board safety video will delight fans as much as the first one and inspire even more people to consider a visit to Middle-earth,” added Williams.

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