The Hobbit to premiere in New Zealand in November

Martin Freeman Martin Freeman will play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit films

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The world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will take place in New Zealand on 28 November.

The screening at Wellington's Embassy Theatre will take place two weeks ahead of the film's release on 14 December.

Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson said it was fitting to hold the premiere "where the journey began."

Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit is set 60 years before the Lord Of The Rings trilogy of films.

In An Unexpected Journey, Bilbo Baggins attempts to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from Smaug, the dragon.

The film's cast includes Sherlock's Martin Freeman, who takes on the lead role of Baggins.

Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett and Sir Ian McKellen, who all starred in Jackson's Oscar-winning trilogy, also appear in the movie.

British actor Andy Serkis has reprised his motion-capture animated role of Gollum.

The film is split into two parts, with the second instalment - The Hobbit: There And Back Again - due for release in December 2013.

The 3D movies were shot at a rate of 48 frames per second, compared with the industry standard of 24 frames.

Following a preview of unfinished footage at the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas in April, some critics claimed it "looked like a made-for-TV movie".

Jackson admitted: "It does take you a while to get used to," adding, "Ten minutes is sort of marginal, it probably needed a little bit more."

He wrote the screenplay with partner Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Mexican director Guillermo del Toro.

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