A host of stars are expected to attend the first UK performance of the latest JRR Tolkien adaptation.
They include Sir Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis and Cate Blanchett, who are all reprising their roles as Gandalf, Gollum and Galadriel respectively from The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, as well as Office star Martin Freeman, who plays the central character Bilbo Baggins.
Also attending is the Duke of Cambridge, although William will not be the first royal to encounter The Hobbit, as the Prince of Wales went behind the scenes of the new blockbuster when he toured New Zealand in October to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Sir Ian McKellen has been describing his action-packed role in the long-awaited Hobbit film ahead of its star-studded UK premiere tonight. The trilogy of films, based on the novel by Tolkien, are all directed by Peter Jackson, and set in Middle Earth 60 years before the Ring trilogy.
McKellen reprises his role as Gandalf in 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'. He told Daybreak he couldn't have done it without a little help from his stunt doubles.
The star-studded UK premiere of the long-awaited Hobbit film will be held in London tonight but without the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Duke of Cambridge is still expected to attend The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in London's Leicester Square as Kate, continues to rest at St James's Palace from acute morning sickness.
Yesterday St James's Palace said:
"The Duchess of Cambridge will not attend The Hobbit premiere tomorrow evening and will continue to rest privately. The Duke of Cambridge will attend as planned."
Tens of thousands of fans dressed in medieval costumes camped overnight to catch a glimpse of the stars from new film The Hobbit today.
A video released by a New Zealand airline to help promote passenger safety on-board its aircraft has racked up nearly 10 million YouTube hits online - thanks to its Hobbit-inspired theme.
Featuring a brief cameo appearance by legendary director Sir Peter Jackson, air hostesses run the adventure-themed video and advise passengers dressed in fantasy attire from the film.
Tens of thousands of fans dressed in medieval costumes camped overnight to catch a glimpse of the stars from new film The Hobbit.Read the full story ›
Fans of The Hobbit queued in their droves today at the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in New Zealand to catch a glimpse of the stars in director Peter Jackson's first film in the new trilogy.
Watch the film's official trailer:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey director Peter Jackson hopes the new technology he used on his latest movie trilogy will create a "magical" cinema-going experience.
Speaking at a news conference in Wellington, New Zealand, hours before the first instalment's world premiere, Jackson highlighted that the films were shot at 48 frames per second rather than the traditional 24 in a bid to give them greater clarity.
"We just have to make the cinema-going experience more magical and more spectacular to get people coming back to the movies again", the Oscar-winning director told the audience.
Jackson said that when the movie opens worldwide next month in 25,000 cinemas, only around 1,000 of them will be equipped to show the movie in 48 frames, so most people will see it in the more traditional format.
The Hobbit has also been shot in 3-D.
Fans are beginning to gather in Wellington, New Zealand, as preparations are underway for the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
The film is the first in director Peter Jackson's new trilogy based on the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Jackson wrote on Facebook earlier, "Our first press conference in the magnificent marae at Te Papa - New Zealand's national museum here in Wellington. World Premiere of the movie in a few hours".