Hottest tickets in Middle-earth: The Hobbit goes on sale
Martin Freeman as the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
MORE than seven weeks until Elvish is back in the building, Australian cinemas are about to start selling tickets to The Hobbit.
The distributor Roadshow Films is tapping into interest from fervent Tolkien fans – and ramping up more of it – by selling advance tickets from 12.01am on November 7.
For Lord of the Rings fans who have been eagerly awaiting Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth, that will still be 50 sleeps before they can see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Boxing Day.
The first instalment of a trilogy, An Unexpected Journey will premiere in Wellington, New Zealand, on November 28.
Nine years after Jackson's final Lord of the Rings movie, the trilogy will see the return of Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Andy Serkis as Gollum, Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo Baggins and Christopher Lee as Saruman.
An Unexpected Journey follows the young Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman, as he joins Gandalf and 13 dwarves on a quest to reclaim the lost dwarf kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug.
"All three films in The Hobbit trilogy tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before the Lord of the Rings,” said Roadshow.
As he filmed in Wellington and on location around New Zealand, Jackson decided to expand his Hobbit adaptation from two to three movies by drawing on 125 pages of notes that Tolkien wrote as appendixes to The Return of the King about possible revisions.
Many of the Lord of the Rings behind-the-scenes team returned to shoot the Hobbit movies, including Australian director of photography Andrew Lesnie.
The next instalment, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, will be released on December 26 next year, with the final instalment, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, slated for July 17, 2014.