Save the Hobbit

Hobbit to Change Filming Location?

New Zealand may soon learn what happens when they go against the fellowship of Peter Jackson. Warner Brothers has threatened to leave New Zealand for filming of the two-film Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit, due to a dispute with the union Actors’ Equity. Shooting of the two 3-D films was set to begin in February, but Jackson’s production company, Wingnut Films, said in a statement that Warner Brothers is concerned about their $500 million dollar investment. Although Jackson has said he is committed to filming in New Zealand—where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot—co-producer Fran Walsh said they are scouting locations in England and could possibly use the Harry Potter studio. More than a thousand film technicians marched through New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, demanding the actors end their dispute over the contract. In a statement last week, New Zealand Actors’ Equity said they wanted to “commence good faith negotiations.”