A long-planned Middle-earth film museum is likely to be situated on the waterfront of Wellington, New Zealand, according to a new Development Plan being discussed by the city council, reports the Dominion Post.
Plans for a Wellington-based museum celebrating Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films have been mooted since 2001. With the release of the final film in The Hobbit trilogy, which is likely to be the last film set in Middle-earth for some time, plans are finally moving forward and the selection of the waterfront as a location is a key step forward.
At the world première of The Battle of the Five Armies on 1 December 2014, members of the cast supported the idea. Sir Ian McKellen urged Jackson to take it up as his next project:
Of course the next development I hope is that Peter’s going to devise, not more films, but a situation that you can all go to that is as much theatrical as cinematic. […]
A living museum where you will actually have the experience – as you sometimes do in the greatest exhibitions of that sort in Hollywood – to go into that and be there
Martin Freeman agreed, although thought more in terms of an amusement park:
They come to Hobbiton [Matamata, New Zealand] in their droves so I’m sure there are enough fans of the films that would come to see a Hobbit theme park or a Lord of the Rings theme park.
The Tolkien Society has a long-term aim of creating a Tolkien museum or centre based at a location significant to Tolkien, such as Birmingham or Oxford. In the meantime we hope that the museum in Wellington, although focusing more on the films, will help further interest in Professor J.R.R. Tolkien C.B.E.
Daniel is an Officer without Portfolio and Trustee of The Tolkien Society. Elected in 2014, he is mainly responsible for the Society’s digital operations, including this website.