Thursday 12 December 2019

Hobbit films to stay in New Zealand

Peter Jackson's Hobbit movies will be filmed in New Zealand
Peter Jackson's Hobbit movies will be filmed in New Zealand

Peter Jackson's Hobbit films will be made in New Zealand as originally planned, the country's Prime Minister has announced.

John Key's statement followed two days of crisis talks with Hollywood studio executives over the fate of the 500 million dollar (£315 million) movies.

"It's good to have the uncertainty (surrounding the movies) over and to have everyone now full steam ahead on producing these two movies," he said.

Senior executives from Warner Bros and New Line Cinema won an agreement for a change in labour law and bigger tax breaks to keep the project in New Zealand after a dispute over pay and conditions for actors threw the production into turmoil last week.

The studios had warned that unless the threat of industrial action was removed, production of the two films would be moved to another country.

The dispute became a national issue in New Zealand, which received a huge boost to its tourism and film-making industries after The Lord Of The Rings trilogy was made there.

Hundreds of people marched in several cities on Monday to show their support for keeping production in the country.

The Hobbit, set to become a two-part film, is J.R.R. Tolkien's prequel to The Lord Of The Rings.

The Prime Minister says the package includes an extra tax break of 20 million New Zealand dollars (£9.5 million) for the studios, on top of 45 million dollars (£21 million) already pledged by the government.

PA Media

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