SYDNEY, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Director Peter Jackson says "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" will debut in his hometown of Wellington, New Zealand, next year.
Jackson, who was was filming on location in New Zealand Friday, said Warner Bros. was thrilled with the way New Zealand embraced "The Return of the King" in 2003.
"No one I don't think in the international industry could quite believe how the country got behind that moment," Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter, "and I think everyone involved is quite honestly keen to let New Zealand have the premiere of the first Hobbit movie."
The first of the two Hobbit movies will debut in Jackson's hometown in November 2012, with the worldwide release scheduled for Dec. 13, 2012. The second film, "The Hobbit: There And Back Again" is set for release in December 2013.
Filming is under way at the Hobbiton movie set near Matamata, New Zealand. The hobbit village was created for the Lord Of The Rings films and will continue as a tourist attraction once filming is complete, The Hollywood Reporter said.