The Hobbit films 'to stay in New Zealand'
27th October 2010
The big screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is to be made in New Zealand, the country's prime minister has confirmed.
John Key has spent two days in talks with executives from Warner Bros and New Line to determine whether the production would be shot in New Zealand, the homeland of director Peter Jackson.
The Hobbit, which will be made as two films, became the subject of an industrial dispute last month after acting unions objected to the possibility that performers could be offered non-union contracts.
This led to Jackson threatening to move the production to eastern Europe, sparking hundreds of people to take to the streets in New Zealand in protest.
Speaking this morning, Mr Key said he is 'delighted' to have secured the films' future in the country.
'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,' the prime minister commented.
He also explained that new labour laws will be introduced to clarify the issues raised during the acting unions' dispute and revealed that the government will pay towards the marketing costs of the films.