Air New Zealand Hobbit safety video: 'The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made'

Safety is fantasy in Air New Zealand's latest Hobbit star-studded in-flight safety video, directed by Taika Waititi.

Air New Zealand has today released its new safety video which, weighing in at more than four-and-a-half-minutes, has been aptly titled The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made.

And in it, Sir Peter Jackson has jumped to the other side of the camera, taking an acting role - albeit playing the role of a director.

And Waititi, as he likes to do, has cast himself in a starring role, this time as a young and safety-conscious eagle-riding Gandalf the wizard.

The video also features Hobbit stars Elijah Wood, Dean O'Gorman, and Sylvester McCoy, as well as Weta Workshop co-founder Sir Richard Taylor, who gets dwarfed inside a giant airline seat.

If it wasn't for the touch-screen phones, the bungy jumping, and oxygen masks, it could have easily come from the mind of JRR Tolkien.

The video, to be played before take-off on Air New Zealand planes, was shot over six days at New Zealand Middle-earth locations, including Hobbiton and Central Otago.

Weta Workshop and Weta Digital - the Miramar teams behind the actual movies - were also involved with providing costumes, prosthetics and make-up, as well as visual effects.


The video was to start screening on Air New Zealand planes today. It is a follow-up to the airline's first in-flight safety video inspired by The Hobbit.

The 2012 version, An Unexpected Briefing, attracted more than 12 million global online views and generated huge media and social media coverage, a statement this morning said.

Jackson described the video as "fantastic".

"I had a lot of fun on the set with Taika and the team and look forward to seeing the video on board," he said.

The release did not mention whether Jackson planned to also play the video aboard the $NZ80 million ($72 million) private Gulfstream G650 jet he is understood to still own.

Fairfax NZ News