THE HOBBIT Likely to Move Middle-Earth out of New Zealand

     October 20, 2010

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Today in “The Hobbit Is Kind of Getting Made” news, it looks like the production and New Zealand’s unions have reached an impasse and that Warner Bros. is likely to shoot the film elsewhere.  As we previously reported, the Screen Actors Guild told its members not to work on the picture.  While that blacklist was lifted, writer-producer-director Peter Jackson tells the New Zealand press [via The Playlist] that “The damage inflicted on our film industry by [the actors unions] is long since done.”  According to Jackson and co-producer/co-writer Fran Walsh, the blacklist undermined the studio’s confidence in the New Zealand film industry, and that confidence is somewhat necessary when you’re backing a production with a projected budget of $500 million.  While Jackson and Walsh say they’ll continue to fight to keep the production in New Zealand (where the original Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot), the decision now rests with the studio.

This scuffle is the latest difficulty the production has had to overcome.  However, MGM’s financial meltdown is no longer an obstacle, Jackson is officially on board to direct, casting is moving forward, and shooting is slated to begin in February 2011.  Broken in to two films, The Hobbit is set to be released in 3D in December 2012 and December 2013.  Hit the jump for the synopsis of the book.

Here’s the synopsis for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit:

Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit, is a peaceful sort of cozy hole in the Shire, a place where adventures are uncommon and rather unwanted. So when the wizard Gandalf whisks him away on a treasure hunting expedition with a troop of rowdy dwarves, he’s not entirely thrilled. Encountering ruthless trolls, beastly orcs, gigantic spiders, and hungry wolves, Bilbo discovers within himself astonishing strength and courage. And at the ultimate confrontation with the fearsome dragon Smaug, the hobbit will brave the dangers of dark and dragon fire alone and unaided. [Amazon]

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