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Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 13:13 GMT
Two Towers to make US debut
The Two Towers
Frodo and Sam continue their journey in The Two Towers
The Two Towers, the eagerly awaited second film in the Lord of Rings trilogy, will receive its world première on Thursday at a gala screening in New York.

Stars from the film, including Elijah Wood and Liv Tyler, are expected to attend the event, to be held at the Ziegfeld cinema.

The New York première will be followed by one in Toronto on 6 December, a European première in Paris on 10 December and a UK debut in London the next day.

Sir Ian
Sir Ian returns as Gandalf

The long countdown to the official worldwide release on 18 December indicates the big hopes pinned on the sequel to The Fellowship of the Ring - an international smash hit.

However, fans in Los Angeles and Copenhagen will be able to see the movie in cinemas from 15 December.

Rolf Mittweg, president of New Line Cinema, the film's worldwide distributor, said: "The opening of this film has truly become a global event.

"The Lord of the Rings has been embraced by so many different cultures."

New Zealand

Industry insiders believe the second instalment in the epic Lord of the Rings story by JRR Tolkien will at least equal the success of the first.

The Fellowship of the Ring, released in December 2001, was the second highest earning film released last year - after Harry Potter - and made $860m (£547m).

It also won four Oscars, including one for special effects.

The third and final movie, The Return of the King, is scheduled for release in December 2003.

Liv Tyler in The Two Towers
Liv Tyler plays Arwen

All three films were made in one go in New Zealand under the direction of Peter Jackson.

Tolkien's classic fantasy is based around the hobbit Frodo, who is secretly carrying an all-powerful ring across Middle Earth to the land of Mordor.

Frodo is guided by Gandalf and a fellowship of travellers. Frodo's task is to destroy the all-powerful ring that the dark Lord Sauron covets.

The Two Towers carries on Frodo's adventure as he and his friend Sam, and their new companion Gollum, continue their mission to destroy the One Ring.

Meanwhile, their former companions make new allies and launch an assault on Isengard, the fortress of the wizard Saruman.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Tom Brook
"The first in a series of premieres"

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