Air New Zealand and The Hobbit

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column that counts down the best links and notes of the day. Today, it has a theme. Because who doesn’t love a good theme?

We begin our unexpected journey (see what I did there?) with all kinds of marketing and news for The Hobbit, because there isn’t enough going around about this movie. The folks in New Zealand are especially stoked. Air New Zealand even painted some characters on their plane. Somewhere Murray from Flight of the Conchords is admitting defeat. Or he’s doing last-minute ADR work for The Hobbit. Either way…

8. They’ve also gussied up their hotels in New Zealand…

The Hobbit Hotel

7. And they’ve changed the name of Wellington, NZ to “Middle of Middle-Earth” temporarily for the week of the premiere. Which smacks of a lack of conviction, but the new name would go well as a new town slogan, replacing the previous slogan, “New Zealand’s Capital of Cool.”

6. The New Zealand postal headquarters has a (very pretty) silhouette display of the thirteen dwarves making their way across the top of their building. Seems like a lot of guys just to mail a letter, but no one is accusing these guys of being new age.

5. Remember the giant Gollum Wellington airport display? Well, there’s more

4. PETA is mad at Peter Jackson. Apparently there were some animals used in The Hobbit that didn’t quite make the entire journey safely.  The animal rights group is calling upon the New Zealand government to investigate. Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema say it is not so, that Jackson and crew were vigilant in making sure all animals (including dwarves) were cared for appropriately. New Zealand’s government could not be heard from, as they were speaking from underneath a mountain of tourist revenue.

3. You can watch The Hobbit premiere live, online, free. Watch Bilbo and the gang walk the red carpet. It will take place via the video player below on Wednesday, November 28 at 9:50p EST.

2. Unless you count that long, ridiculous poster that was released around Comic-Con (last year?), which we’re not going to do for the sake of being able to lay down some hyperbole, this is by far the coolest poster for The Hobbit:

The Hobbit: Poster #35

1. And finally, watch the most recent Hobbit production blog from the folks at WETA and that furry guy who has dedicated a large amount of his life to putting Tolkein’s vision on-screen. They also visit with the Department of Beards. And that’s probably the greatest Blu-ray extra that will ever exist for this trilogy. Beard Capture Technology.

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