Sunday Star Times
October 7, 1999

Mystery of the Rings
Bess Manson

Filming for Lord of the Rings – the second most expensive movie production – starts in Wellington next week.

Hollywood star Elijah Wood, who is believed to have found a New Zealand girlfriend, was one of more than 200 cast and crew at a lavish party in Wellington to celebrate the start of filming.

Wood plays the lead role of hobbit Frobo Baggins while another Hollywood star, Liv Tyler, will play Arwen, elf princess of Rivendell. Mystery continues to surround Peter Jackson’s $360 million adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. No stars have been available for interviews and crew have signed confidentiality agreements. Rings publicist Claire Raskin said she expected to make a "big bang" announcement in the next few weeks. She confirmed the cast and crew would move to Queenstown for filming in November and to remote Hinuera farmland in the Waikato in the New Year. Speculation is mounting Cate Blanchett, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke will also snare roles.