John Key never read The Hobbit
Prime Minister John Key is excitedly looking forward to the premiere of the first of the Hobbit movies but admits he has never read the book the movie is based on.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to line the streets of Wellington for the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Wednesday.
Key said he would be at the premiere, and had already seen about eight to 10 minutes of the movie while on a visit to the Weta premises. It looked "fantastic".
He had not read The Hobbit, the book by JRR Tolkien on which the movies are based, he told RadioLive.
"I got given a copy of it. I've got it on my desk ... Maybe I won't need to read it now. I'll watch the movie, I'll be fine."
He also admitted to seeing only the first of the three movies based on Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, the sequel to the Hobbit story.
"It was good, I enjoyed it," Key said.
"People that are into it are really into it, and they just can't get enough of it.
"It's one of those things where if it's your big thing they just have an insatiable appetite for this stuff," he said.
"In its own world, in its own way, it's a franchise like a James Bond thing. Those people just love it."
He told TVNZ that New Zealand should celebrate the Hobbit film.
"I think it's going to be amazing for New Zealand and for (director) Peter Jackson. You know, as a country we should celebrate the fact, I think, that we've got incredibly talented people."
About 3000 people had worked on the movie, with brilliant post-production work done by Weta.
"Isn't this our time just to stand up for once and say, 'hey we're pretty cool ... we're a neat little country and we've produced these great movies'."
The Dominion Post