Hobbit cast and crew fly in for premiere

The Hobbit plane arrives at Wellington Airport from Auckland.
The Hobbit plane arrives at Wellington Airport from Auckland.
Stars of The Hobbit disembark from the Air New Zealand Hobbit plane.
Stars of The Hobbit disembark from the Air New Zealand Hobbit plane.
People watch from Wellington Airport's terminal as cast and crew of The Hobbit arrive from Auckland.
People watch from Wellington Airport's terminal as cast and crew of The Hobbit arrive from Auckland.
Cast and crew of The Hobbit disembark the Air New Zealand Hobbit-themed plane in Wellington.
Cast and crew of The Hobbit disembark the Air New Zealand Hobbit-themed plane in Wellington.
Hobbit producer Philippa Boyens, left, and Sir Peter Jackson, right.
Hobbit producer Philippa Boyens, left, and Sir Peter Jackson, right.
The Hobbit stars at Wellington Airport, with Peter Jackson taking a photo.
The Hobbit stars at Wellington Airport, with Peter Jackson taking a photo.

Four dwarves, one wizard, a great-grandson and a very large plane made the final journey to the middle of Middle Earth this morning.

The final cast members of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrived in Wellington aboard Air New Zealand's specially outfitted Boeing 777-300 that travelled via LA and London.

A select group of media were invited to join stars as they boarded in Auckland, including Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman and J.R.R. Tolkien's great-grandson Royd on their short trip.

"It's all a bit crazy. This is a bit bit weird," Turner, who plays Kili, said about staging a media call on a plane.

"My ears are popping and I keep looking out the window and realising we are on a plane," said O'Gorman, who stars as Fili, Kili's brother.

The flight's special guests were joined by cabin crew decked out in Hobbit clothing: leather arm-pieces for the men and silver crowns for the women.  And if they got bored, they could always watch Lord of the Rings on the in-flight entertainment.

But the cast had bigger things on their minds, as they contemplated watching the film they spent a year and a half filming for the very first time.

"We get a cast viewing today in case we hate it," said Turner.

"Then it would be jumping on a plane back to Dublin quickly."

Kiwi actor John Callen, who plays Oin in the film, discounted the validity of complaints horses were mistreated on set.

"The big question has to do with timing. My feeling is, if people were 100 per cent genuine in their intentions, then perhaps someone should have been done sooner."

After tomorrow's premiere the cast will start a promotional tour around the world.

The Dominion Post