Despite Greenlight, Hobbit Movie Might Still Depart New Zealand

Despite Greenlight, Hobbit Movie Might Still Depart New Zealand

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Union demands and labor disputes might still push The Hobbit to film in a country other than New Zealand, where The Lord of the Rings was shot.

Tolkien nerds everywhere cheered when we heard the news that The Hobbit was finally greenlit by Warner Bros. and that Peter Jackson's production could finally move forward. But that doesn't mean the film isn't still beleaguered by disputes from labor unions. Even though WB has invested over $100 million in the production, continued disputes might encourage it to decide to move The Hobbit to Eastern Europe. Last night, a march of over 1500 technicians was held in Wellington to show their support for keeping the production in New Zealand. The Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly hinted that Peter Jackson was behind the march, and that he was acting like a "spoilt brat." Jackson and Prime Minister John Key will meet with WB executives next week to alleviate their concerns.

In a statement released by Warner Bros. on Friday morning (New Zealand time), the studio confirmed that it was indeed considering the option of moving the production to another country. Warner Bros. confirmed that the actions of the actors unions in New Zealand prompted the response, which is a shame because of the thousands of people in New Zealand who will be unemployed if the production moved, including the 1500 who marched in Wellington in support of the film.

"I watched the march on TV. I wasn't there and unlike what Helen Kelly's been saying I didn't have anything to do with organizing it," Peter Jackson said. "Suddenly I see Helen Kelly and she starts slagging off the production.

"Here's Helen Kelly, who represents the workers of New Zealand, and she's trivializing the feelings of these 1000 very concerned people and supporting an Australian union. I thought 'God, what planet are we living on?'"

Helen Kelly believes that the production was always intended to go overseas to reduce costs and that the union is being set up to take the fall. The Hobbit currently gets a 15 percent tax break but there have been reports that other countries are offering up to 30 percent.

"New Zealand performers want the movie made here as much as anyone, but let's get all the facts on the table about taxes, subsidies, and other issues - rather than just blaming the union for asking to meet on basic terms and conditions," Kelly said.

Oddly enough, the Prime Minister of New Zealand is getting involved and is hopeful that the production will go forward. "I don't think we should write off our chances of retaining the movies," PM John Key said. "My concern is that if Warner Brothers deems New Zealand is not a good place to make movies, then there is a real risk other major film production companies will also believe that to be the case."

That's why he will be at the WB meetings with Jackson. "There's work to be done and the Government hasn't given up trying to do its best to secure the movies," he said.

It would do harm to the The Hobbit if the production moves to another country. The landscapes and vistas provided by the amazingly photogenic countryside of New Zealand was such a big part of the Lord of the Rings films. Of course, The Hobbit will still be good because Jackson is at the helm, but it would be a shame if it was filmed in, say, Nebraska.

Source: The Dominion Post

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So why are the New Zealand guilds protesting? What's the holdup?

I'm very excited for this movie, hopefully these disputes will settle down pretty soon.

That can't happen. I loved the scenery in LotR so much. Whoever's trying to get this filmed elsewhere needs to go away for about a year. Or longer...

*Cocks gun*

sir.rutthed:
So why are the New Zealand guilds protesting? What's the holdup?

IIRC, Australian Actors Union want a cut of New Zealander Actors pie that the Hobbit provides so they are raising hell.

This may be good news, the only other place in the world with as varied geography as New Zealand is the Great Canadian Rockies, and if they come here, then there's a good possibility of getting to work on this guy! Yeah!

Here's a video clip of the entire interview, if anyone wants to hear everything in context. I'm watching it right now and it makes for some very interesting viewing on this matter :P

(Do you think you could put this in the OP, perhaps, Greg? Might be useful for people to watch if they want to know a bit more about the situation...)

Trivun:
Here's a video clip of the entire interview, if anyone wants to hear everything in context. I'm watching it right now and it makes for some very interesting viewing on this matter :P

(Do you think you could put this in the OP, perhaps, Greg? Might be useful for people to watch if they want to know a bit more about the situation...)

Thank you very much. ^.^

Hurry Peter Jackson because i am reading the hobbit right now and i am eagering to see the movie.

Let me make a few things clear.

The majority of New Zealand's actors are not the cause of the problem.
Peter Jackson is not the cause of the problem.
WB isn't the cause of the problem.
Weta Studio's isn't the cause of the problem.

The cause of the problem is that a select group of Kiwi actors have joined an australian actors Union. This Union is the one being demanding and causing issues. One small group ruins it for everyone, and as usual, it's an Australians fault xD

sir.rutthed:
So why are the New Zealand guilds protesting? What's the holdup?

You know that Simpsons ep where they wanted to make Radioactive man, and the town kept bleeding the production for all the money they could? Yeah, its exactly like that.

sir.rutthed:
So why are the New Zealand guilds protesting? What's the holdup?

Funnily enough they were asked this on Campbell Live a few weeks ago (a local current affairs show),pretty much the only thing that was able to be established from the batshit insanity was that they didn't want to get naked- not in the Hobbit mind you but in completely unrelated (and hypothetical) movies that noone cares about so they are screwing with the Hobbit cause of its high profile.

I must say however that I am loving how workers are standing up and picketing the trade unions that are in this case exploiting them (and the rest of the industry)just to raise the unions own public profile- it's such a nice change of pace.

To all who quoted my first post: wow. So far this is a lesson in "how to ruin a great thing for your country through sheer greed". Hopefully the greedy bastards will get their heads out of their asses in time to save the film's scenery.

This is bullshit. They can't move the Hobbit out of New Zealand. Its the most beautiful are geographically diverse country I've ever seen, anywhere else would just make the film dull by comparison.

Meh. I'm not really bothered by this.

Where a movie is filmed means more to pompous critics than to fans.

Just do the source credit.

I'm pissed about this, they should really make it in the place where the original Shire is.
*Lives in NZ.

I heard talk that England is a possible filming location. That would be Awesome. Imagine if The Hobbit was filmed near me. I could be an extra :) Probably won't happen. A man can dream though. A man can dream...

Aotearoa is where it should be filmed, no questions asked. Peter's got it right, he doesn't need thoses 60 or so TRAITORS!

Bloody Aussies ruining it for us again. It's really annoying because people arn't willing to do that bit of research to realize that its an AUSTRALIAN union causing the trouble.

Also, Losing this movie will be a pretty hefty blow, not just to our NZ pride, but to our economy. Firstly because we are not a particularly large country, and this movie is Serious Business for us economically. Secondly because it gets moved, other company's will be like "errrr must be something wrong with this place, better not go there". :(

Not to mention NZ's gorgeous scenery :D

Just to put it out there. Theres been worries that Union will use the 2011 Rugby World Cup to sway things in their favour.

And yes, Aussies wants NZ to fail just coz their movie industry is a steaming pile of koala crap.

Its pretty stupid for the NZ actors equity to do this. They have to realise that THEY ARE GETTING PLAYED by the aussies. Think about it, is boycotting one of the HIGHEST profile films gonna get them anything? If The Hobbit was moved elsewhere will Kiwi actors have part in it? Heck no.

I suggest death valley.

Man, this just grinds my gears to no end. I love New Zealand, and I really wanna see the Hobbit filmed here. You can see Peter Jackson in that interview hurting so desperately to try and pull things together. The poor guy looks worn down, and fair enough too, having to deal with that harpie-parasite Helen Kelly

New Zealand's reputation for film making has just suffered a devastating blow, which is really sad given the effort so many people have made to build it, and all the great films made here (not just the LOTR).

If it is the Australian Actors Union that's causing all this fuss, then why is anyone in New Zealand even listening to them? Do they even have any kind of clout in NZ? Or am I just missing something here? *confused*

Halyah:
If it is the Australian Actors Union that's causing all this fuss, then why is anyone in New Zealand even listening to them? Do they even have any kind of clout in NZ? Or am I just missing something here? *confused*

I also find that it is impossible to form an opinion on this.

I just cant make heads or tails of any of anything is seems.

 

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