1 DECEMBER 2003
The Lord Of The Rings trilogy reached a spectacular climax on Monday, as The Return Of The King had its world premiere in New Zealand.
Upwards of 100,000 people crowded the streets of Wellington to watch a celebratory parade snake through the streets of the capital towards the Embassy Theatre. The film's stars, Liv Tyler, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood and Sir Ian McKellen were met by huge cheers as they made their way to the screening.
But the hero of the day was undoubtedly director Peter Jackson, who himself hails from New Zealand. "I'm feeling incredibly humbled by this wonderful reception," he said. "I'm incredibly proud of what's happening."
Peter has become something of a national hero after bringing the epic Rings production to his home country. "I'm just doing what I love doing in the country I was born in," said the 42-year-old filmmaker.
The first two movies have already taken £1.8 billion at the box office and the final instalment, which he says is the best of the three, is expected to fare even better. Fans of the series will have to wait until December 17, however, to see if Sam, Legolas, Gandalf and Aragorn can overcome the evil forces of Mount Doom and save Middle Earth.