In the News: Mayors Bid to Win Star Wars - Ewoks in Avondale and Jabba in Upper Hutt

The guys over at got this article. It's mainly about Star Wars but it does throw a mention of LotR in there.

Mayors Bid to Win Star Wars - Ewoks in Avondale and Jabba in Upper Hutt?

Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey and his Wellington counterpart, Mark Blumsky, hope to convince Hollywood movie moguls that the third Star Wars movie should be made in New Zealand.

And they will be helped by our Ambassador to the US, former Prime Minister Jim Bolger, who is throwing a party to bring the mayors and the movie men together.

The second Star Wars "prequel" is to start shooting at Fox Studio Sydney in June, after Australia pipped New Zealand at the post to have the movie's pod racers land on our shores.

Auckland film-maker Tim Coddington said New Zealand lacked the studio facilities to lure Star Wars II when its makers were "flirting" with the idea two years ago.

He has arranged meetings for the mayors with key producers. Mr Harvey and Mr Blumsky will be at the Location 2000 Expo in the Los Angeles Convention Centre this week, and will meet film executives to make their pitch.

In the meetings, Mr Harvey will focus on the success of Xena: Warrior Princess, and Mr Blumsky will cite Lord of the Rings as an example of Hollywood using the local industry. The mayors will highlight the low cost of making films in New Zealand, then throw in the added bonus of spectacular locations.

Mr Coddington, who will join the New Zealand delegation tomorrow, said the LA trip would "help towards trying to lure Star Wars III here."

Star Wars III is due for release in 2005. Mr Harvey is scheduled to meet Ted Galgliano, production head of Twentieth Century Fox, the distributor of the Star Wars films.

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