Wellington Airport
Credit: Xinhua/Huang Xingwei/Landov

The first of Peter Jackson’s 75,000 Hobbit movies is nearly upon us and what better way to celebrate than to build a 43-foot sculpture of Gollum in your airport?

Wellington International Airport in New Zealand (where The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy were filmed), unveiled the awesome/nightmarish creation from Japanese artist Masayuki Ohashi on Friday. Made out of polystyrene and epoxy resin, the sculpture features three 13-foot fish suspended in front of Gollum’s head and single arm, along with some bubbles for good measure. It was designed by Weta Workshop, the special-effects company behind Jackson’s two trilogies. All in all, it took crews four months to assemble the entire piece.

Why the airport placement, you ask? Weta co-founder Richard Taylor explains: “Wellington Airport feels like the home of Gollum after spending so many months here during the last three films.” He went on to add that he hopes the sculpture will encourage more New Zealand filmmaking in the future. “We spend months out in the world championing what our industry can offer and this is a flagship of that to the world.” Watch a video of the installation below:

You have to admit, it is pretty amazing. And yet, there’s something undeniably creepy about a giant hand reaching out over your head while you wait at baggage claim. Couldn’t they have built an ent or something? In any case, if you want to check it out, be sure to visit New Zealand in the next few months.

Is this more or less over-the-top than Denny’s Hobbit tie-in menu?

Read more:

‘The Hobbit’ trailer: A deep dive into the new clip

Lord of the Rings

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