New Hobbit poster not New Zealand - report

The new Hobbit poster shows Gandalf walking through Middle Earth. Or is it Newcastle? Photo / Supplied
The new Hobbit poster shows Gandalf walking through Middle Earth. Or is it Newcastle? Photo / Supplied

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

The UK's Northumberland Gazette reports a teaser image shows the wizard Gandalf striding through countryside which is allegedly local landscape north of Newcastle in the UK.

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 Per Cent Middle Earth, 100 Per Cent Pure New Zealand" campaign.

Tourism NZ was not immediately available to comment on whether the image - which features on a sole promotional poster - would dent its campaign impact.

Northumberland Gazette reader Phil Murray spotted the likeness between the poster and a view from near where he lived.

"I was stunned when it matched up perfectly - even the field boundaries immediately around the castle were the same in the poster as in real life," he said.

"Quite why they chose to base the image on Edlingham Castle is anyone's guess, but it's funny to think that a little bit of Northumberland will forever be Middle Earth."

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.

- AAP

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