Buckle up, Dwarves, Hobbits and Wizards, and put your seats and tray tables in the upright position! ET was the only U.S. show invited aboard the Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300 "Hobbit Plane" to journey from Auckland to Wellington, NZ with the cast of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey right before the world premiere of the film.
Watch the video as ET's Debbie Matenopoulos tests out her flight attendant skills on the trip with J.R.R. Tolkien's great-great grandson Royd Tolkien alongside the new movie's Dwarf heroes Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Graham McTavish and John Callen.
On the tarmac, the travelers were met by the rest of the Hobbit cast, including Martin Freeman, Elijah Wood and director Peter Jackson, and then it was on to the mega-red-carpet premiere (all 600 meters of it, complete with an Air New Zealand Hobbit Plane flyover) to talk to Hobbit stars Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and more! Sir Ian McKellen was unable to make the event, but he did address fans in a big-screen video message.
The long-awaited big-screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy adventure, a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, follows the adventures of the diminutive Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) as he journeys with a group of 13 Dwarves to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. On the way, they must battle treacherous Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and sly Sorcerers. And when Bilbo gains possession of Gollum's (Serkis) "precious" ring, the fate of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey rides into theaters in 3D and 2D in select theaters and IMAX on December 14. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released Dec. 13, 2013; while the third installment in the series, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will hit theaters July 18, 2014.