McKellen to miss Hobbit premiere

PAUL EASTON
Last updated 17:08 19/11/2012

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A parade of stars is heading to Wellington for the red carpet premiere of The Hobbit, although one big name will be missing. 

New details of plans for the November 28 premiere were released today.

Joining filmmakers Sir Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens at the event will be Martin Freeman, who plays the central role of Bilbo Baggins and Richard Armitage, who stars as the Dwarf warrior Thorin Oakenshield.

Also attending are Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving, who reprise their roles from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy as the Elf Queen Galadriel and Elf Lord Elrond; with Andy Serkis returning to the role of Gollum, and Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins.

However, Sir Ian McKellen, who plays the wizard Gandalf the Grey, will not be in attendance.   

In a statement from Warner Brothers, McKellen said he was envious his co-stars could attend.

"It is thrilling that Peter and my other friends from the cast and crew will be re-united for the world premiere," he said.

"I know they will have a wonderful welcome from the fans and I envy them. As ever, my heart is in Wellington, and I send my love."

Entertainment will begin at 3pm and the filmmakers and stars of the film will begin to arrive at 4.30 pm.

The stars will tread a 500 metre-long red carpet along Courtenay Place on on Wednesday November 28.

An enormous statue of Gandalf the Grey was lifted into place atop the Embassy Theatre on Sunday.

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- The Dominion Post

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