Warner Bros. Moving ‘The Hobbit’ Out of New Zealand
The Hobbit which received the green light from Warner Brothers last week, with Peter Jackson as director is scheduled for shooting in 3-D this coming February. Now after a small coalition of actors’ unions in New Zealand and Australia pushed actors’ guilds across the world to boycott work on the films, citing an unfair residuals arrangement, Sir Peter Jackson has announced The Hobbit could be taken offshore by threatening to move the production to Eastern Europe.
The Press of New Zealand has a collective quote from Jackson and Walsh, who say “The damage inflicted on our film industry by [the actors unions] is long since done.” and that “Warners felt New Zealand was no longer a stable environment for the film, given the threat of industrial action and wanted to take it off shore.”
Other countries had offered a one-off deal that is double New Zealand’s 15 per cent tax rebate for films and Walsh was quoted saying that, “the studio had been taking photos of locations in the UK. There is the Harry Potter studio there that they say would be perfect for us.”
Jackson said while they would fight to keep the films in New Zealand, the decision ultimately rests with Warner Brothers a studio who is rightfully concerned about their spending $500m on the production.
Late Wednesday, more than a thousand film technicians marched through the capital, Wellington, demanding actors end their dispute over contracts. They chanted “Save The Hobbit” and waved banners that said, “Keep it Made in New Zealand” and “SOS Hobbits.”