Embarking on an expected journey
It is hardly an unexpected journey any more.
Actors involved with The Hobbit movie trilogy have returned to Wellington from around the world, with filming for the final two films expected to resume today.
Director Sir Peter Jackson could not be reached for comment yesterday, but industry insiders say his Stone Street Studios in Miramar will be working on new scenes for the next 10 weeks or so.
Lord of the Rings fan site TheOneRing.net said it was able to confirm "from the very best of sources" that work on the remaining two films would kick off today.
"It seems likely that most of the principal cast will return for the segment, although not all are specifically confirmed," the website said.
"Lots of actors have reported through social media that they are returning and we know this block of filming has always been in the plans."
British actor Adam Brown, who plays the dwarf Ori, tweeted on Saturday evening that he was at Los Angeles International Airport with "half"' of The Hobbit crew, getting ready to fly to New Zealand.
"Soaking up every second of sun before I head back to a windy, wet winter in Wellington," he said.
Welsh actor Luke Evans, who will play Bard the Bowman in the next two movies, tweeted earlier in the month that he was packing for a trip to New Zealand."
Northern Irish actor James Nesbitt, who plays the dwarf Bofur, was spotted in Wanaka last week working on a documentary about New Zealand, a side project while he is in the country.
But British actor Stephen Fry, who plays the Master of Laketown, appears to not be in a rush to get to Wellington. He tweeted late on Saturday night that he was on his way to Lord's "for a (chilly) day's cricket" between New Zealand and England instead.
Earlier this month, Hobbit production company 3 Foot 7 Ltd advertised on Trade Me for extras with "character" faces to apply for roles in the films.
Applicants needed to be available to live in Wellington until August.
TheOneRing.net said more work was required on the trilogy's epic conclusion, known as The Battle of the Five Armies - a conflict waged between an army of goblins and wargs against men, elves, dwarves and eagles.
The second movie of the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, is due to be released in December, with the final instalment, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, pencilled in for release in late 2014.
The Dominion Post