The Hobbit comes to The Hilton
Kiwi filmmaker Peter Jackson and Middle-earth have popped up in a swanky Beverly Hills hotel.
As part of a Tourism New Zealand promotion and on the eve of the release of the next chapter of Jackson's fantasy film, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, four replica sets from the movie were built inside the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Jackson's three Lord of the Rings films and last year's first Hobbit film have created a tourism bonanza for New Zealand and Saturday's event was designed to attract another wave of American visitors.
The Desolation of Smaug will be the second of three films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Jackson shot all of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films in New Zealand and the Oscar winner joked he might even squeeze out a fourth Hobbit film.
''We have a few little corners of New Zealand that we're saving up for The Hobbit: Part Four,'' Jackson smiled. ''You never know.''
Jackson was joined at the event by The Hobbit's stars Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans and Dean O'Gorman.
The sets at the Hilton included Laketown, shot at Lake Pukaki, Hidden Bay (Turoa, Ohakune), Forest River (Pelorus River) and Beorn's House (Paradise, Queenstown).