Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, will be renamed “The Middle of Middle Earth” next month when it hosts the world premiere of The Hobbit movie trilogy. The name will be recognized in the postal service and the masthead of the local newspaper as well as many other places.
The premiere of the first film in the Hobbit trilogy, which was filmed in the beautiful scenery or New Zealand, will take place on November 28th at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington. During the premiere there will also be an artisan festival which will celebrate all things Middle Earth as well as a 500 yard red carpet which will extend through central Wellington. At the moment there is a countdown clock in the middle of the Embassy Square which is counting down the minutes to the beginning of the premiere.
Wellington Council will also be hosting free outdoor screenings of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the days leading up to the premiere.
In Birmingham, England near to the area where author J.R.R. Tolkien grew up, there is a friendly local cafe known as the “Hungry Hobbit.” However, this local business might be forced to rename itself due to an accusation of copyright infringement.
The lawyers of the American film company Saul Zaentz have contacted the owners of the cafe, as well as a pub in Southhamption called “The Hobbit”, and asked them to remove all references to Hobbits or Lord of the Rings.
Saul Zaentz claims they have, “exclusive worldwide rights to motion picture, merchandising, stage and other rights in certain literary works of JRR Tolkien including The Lord of Rings and The Hobbit.”
TV personality Stephen Fry, who is currently in New Zealand working on the Hobbit film, has stood up for the cafe. He said that the actions by SZC are “self defeating bullying”and there is no need to change the name.
A Facebook group called “Save the Hobbit” has been set up by local student Heather Cartwright. At the moment, it has more than 45,000 likes.