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The Hobbit: Stars turn out for the US premiere

Report by Sophie Foster, Video by Lauren Hood

The cast of new movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey have travelled from their New Zealand Shire to the bright lights of New York for the US premiere of the film.

The Hobbit, which director Peter Jackson is making into a trilogy, will serve as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, with Elijah Wood reprising his role as Frodo Baggins, as well as Andy Serkis as Gollum.

"It's incredibly surreal. It's wild looking at Ian and Peter and seeing Gandalf," Wood said of being back with his fellow actors.

"Ten years have passed and here we are again. It's lovely, you know, it was an honor to be asked to come back and it's been, more than anything for me, it's been a great family reunion."

His co-star Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf, echoed Wood's sentiments, saying: "There's a sense of being home, really, because Middle Earth New Zealand has become one for me and a place I always like to go back to."

Martin Freeman, who plays the film's protagonist, Bilbo Baggins, said he refrained from drinking hobbit beer, despite its low alcohol content.

"I didn't drink any of that. I'm straight as a die on set," he said, going on to joke: "I wait 'til I finish work and then I get absolutely tanked. Every single day of my life, which is why ultimately, I'm so sad."

The film will hit cinemas on December 14, with the second installment being released in December next year.


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