The West

Hobbit poster 100% Northumberland
Hobbit poster '100% Northumberland'

The film industry's version of JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth is being touted as "100% Pure New Zealand" but there is also a slice of English countryside.

The Northumberland Gazette reports a teaser image for The Hobbit shows the wizard Gandalf striding through countryside which is actually local landscape north of Newcastle.

The Hobbit movies have been filmed in New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand is spending the bulk of its $65-million budget piggybacking on the shooting locations, with a "100% Middle Earth, 100% Pure New Zealand" campaign.

However, the English detour did not concern Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler.

It would not detract from the campaign, which he said was "going from strength to strength", he said in a statement.

"Fans and travellers across the world know that New Zealand is home of Middle Earth."

That's despite Tolkien, an English scholar, basing his Hobbit book and the Lord of the Rings trilogy on Norse, Anglo Saxon and German mythology.

Meanwhile, The Hobbit's director Sir Peter Jackson has announced that as part of Tolkien Week, the 75th anniversary of the book's publication, that a new Hobbit trailer will be released on Wednesday.

The Hobbit, which is being released in three parts, has been shot in 3D and at 48 frames a second, twice the speed that has been the standard since the 1920s.

The first movie will have its world premiere in Wellington in late November.

NZ Newswire

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