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Air NZ 777-300 aircraft inspired by The Hobbit

Media release
24 November 2012

Air New Zealand unveils stunning 777-300 aircraft inspired by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Air New Zealand, the official airline of Middle-earth, today unveiled its stunning 777-300 aircraft which is set to become a flying billboard for the soon-to-be-released movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Special guests at the unveiling in Auckland, New Zealand, this morning were amongst the first to see the exterior imagery which depicts characters from the upcoming fantasy adventure The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) production, which is the first in a trilogy of films from Kiwi director Sir Peter Jackson.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe says the imagery, which extends the full length of the 73 metre long aircraft, is simply stunning. “This aircraft is going to excite passengers and fans of Sir Peter Jackson’s award-winning cinema fantasies alike when it begins regular Air New Zealand services between Auckland, Los Angeles and London from this evening. (NZT)

“New Zealand is the home of Middle-earth and The Hobbit movies will be hugely important to New Zealand’s tourism industry in the next couple of years as international tourists are inspired to come and see and experience for themselves the landscapes which have shaped the movies.

“We are thrilled to see so many international visitors booked to travel to Wellington for the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; we want them to experience the magic of Middle-earth as soon as they set foot on this aircraft.”

Air New Zealand is also looking forward to having the film-inspired 777-300 make a brief spectacular appearance at the red carpet event in Wellington, just prior to the premiere on 28 November.

Mr Fyfe says, “It will be fantastic to show this spectacular aircraft off to a global audience at what is certain to be one of the most highly-anticipated movie events of the year.”

Sue Kroll, Warner Bros. Pictures’ President, Worldwide Marketing, says Air New Zealand’s involvement is unique.

“Air New Zealand has already proven their creativity and innovation with their delightful Middle-earth-inspired safety video, and now this extraordinary aircraft wrap. We look forward to continuing to work with them in support of the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in the months ahead.”

Sir Peter Jackson, the director of The Hobbit trilogy, says, “It’s wonderful to see such a stunning image to celebrate The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on one of Air New Zealand’s largest international aircraft. It’s a unique representation of the innovation and creativity of New Zealanders and a great opportunity to show off the incomparably beautiful landscape of this country.”

Air New Zealand will launch a second flying billboard next year utilising another of its long haul aircraft to celebrate the second movie in the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Earlier in the month, Air New Zealand released its most popular in-flight safety video to date. An Unexpected Briefing, which was created by the Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop and starred cast and crew members from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, as well as fans and Air New Zealand’s own cabin crew and pilots, has become a global hit with almost 10 million views on YouTube since its release on 1 November.

About The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The three films tell a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

The screenplay for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the second and third films of the trilogy are productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international distribution being handled by MGM.

The central film in the trilogy The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released on December 13 2013, and the final film The Hobbit: There and Back Again will be released worldwide on July 18 2014. All three films in the trilogy were shot in 3D 48 frames-per-second and will be released in High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D, other 3D formats, IMAX and 2D.


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