From Mountain Scene Thursday May 11


Exclusive: Queenstown is still in the picture for the $360million mega-movie Lord of the Rings, Writes Philip Chandler.

Shooting on the Peter Jackson trilogy will resume in the Southern Lakes either late winter or early spring.

The producers have also asked at least one local hotel to quote on 30 rooms for two weeks next month.

“They need to do some stuff and they’ve got rooms on hold in various different places in the South Island,” publicist Claire Raskind told Mountain Scene yesterday (Wednesday).

But nothing has been confirmed, she said.

Over 200 Lord of the Rings crew — including all the major stars — filmed around Queenstown for about six weeks at the end of last year.

Top secret sets were located at Closeburn, Glenorchy, Arthurs Point, Te Anau, Tarras and alongside the Kawarau River — until wiped out by The Flood Of’ 99.

Assistant publicist Melissa Booth says though dates haven’t scheduled, she believes Rings will return to Queenstown around August/September.

Ms Booth: “They’re definately going into the bottom areas of the South Island. Most of the Production will be travelling down there.”

Rings super-snoop Erica Challis of Auckland believes Southern winter conditions will suit the Misty Mountain scene — in which the main characters traverse a snowy mountain range, only to be driven back by snowstorms.

At present Rings is back in Wellington aftera huge shoot at Ruapehu.

Following a break in July, there’ll be “another Wellington stint before we go down south,” says Ms Booth.