Hobbit set fires up for new movie shoot
Filming on The Hobbit trilogy will resume this month on Mt Crawford in Wellington, where a patch of bush has been transformed into a gutted citadel.
Sir Peter Jackson's spokesman, Matt Dravitzki, said the site on Miramar Peninsula was being prepared for a few days' filming as part of 10 weeks of final-cut shooting for the last two instalments of the trilogy.
"We're back filming in Miramar for 10 weeks, here till early July. We will be filming on Mt Crawford for a few days."
He would not comment on the details of the set or the filming taking place.
However, the set most probably depicts Dale, the town of men built in the shadow of the Lonely Mountain. Many of the yellow townhouses with terracotta roofs appear to have been gutted by fire, suggesting the shooting of scenes after or during the attack by the dragon Smaug.
Another set shows an elaborate entrance carved into a stone wall, possibly the gates to Erebor, the lost dwarven city where Smaug lives.
The next Hobbit instalment, The Desolation of Smaug, is due in cinemas in December.
Producers New Line published the first shot yesterday of Lost actress Evangeline Lilly as elf warrior Tauriel in the movie.
Her character has angered some Tolkien purists as she has been created by the film-makers to give the male-dominated cast a bit of a female touch.
Tauriel heads the Elven Guard and, as a woodland Elf, is of a lower social status than the likes of Arwen, Galadriel or Elrond.
There has been speculation of a movie romance between her and Orlando Bloom's character Legolas, although Lilly declined to confirm or deny this. She said the relationship between the pair was "significant".
The Dominion Post