Peter Jackson: The Hobbit WON'T Be Filmed in New Zealand
Seems the squabble that the New Zealand actors' Union has raised is essentially forcing Warner Bros. to move production of The Hobbit out of the country. As Jackson said here in The Press:
"Next week Warners are coming down to New Zealand to make arrangements to move the production offshore. It appears we cannot make films in our own country even when substantial financing is available."
Essentially, it all boils down to the International Federation of Actors in New Zealand being unhappy the Jackson was using some non-union labour on the film. That union then issued a do-not-work order on The Hobbit, denying all its members of working on the film at all. Jackson and Warner Bros. are now saying that they can simply move them film off of New Zealand's shores and find other more willing areas in the UK or Australia.
To me, it seems like an incredibly dumb move by this union. They are essentially denying their country of a huge economic boost for the simple fact that they won't get preferential treatment on the film. Short sighted and selfish...
I certainly hope the differences can be resolved, and the country that has truly become Middle-earth will continue to be that in The Hobbit.