After a rocky month of stand offs and bad blood between Peter Jackson, Warner Bros, and the New Zealand talent unions, everyone has come to a truce. Originally, several complaints from New Zealand and Australian labor organizations including the Actors’ Equity began questioning the director’s crew practices for The Hobbit and demanded that their members boycott the film. Shortly after, the unions announced that they’d come to an agreement and the members could accept work from the director on the movie.
Despite their resolution, New Zealand and their drama left a bad taste in the mouth of Warner Bros who would have the final say on whether or not the film would shoot in the country. According to the LA Times, the production will likely stay in Jackson’s native land.
The news came via New Zealand’s prime minister John Key, who confirmed that the country and the producers had come to an agreement.
As part of the agreement, the government said it would broaden the criteria for its film fund, entitling the producers to receive an additional rebate of up to $7.5 million for each of the “Hobbit” movies. The government also said it will offset $10 million in Warner Bros.’ marketing costs as part of a “strategic partnership” with the studio to “promote New Zealand as both a film production and tourism destination.”
Jackson and Warner Bros had originally threatened to move the film to Europe if they couldn’t find a common ground, and the thought of losing all that money seemed to have scared the government sh*tless!
“I am delighted we have achieved this result,” Key said in a statement. “Making the two Hobbit movies here will not only safeguard work for thousands of New Zealanders, but it will also follow the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in once again promoting New Zealand on the world stage.”
Isn’t it interesting how the tide changed so quickly?
Are you excited that The Hobbit is staying in NZ?