October 22, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

“The Hobbit” faces further delays due to labor unrest; Peter Jackson responds

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: There are more complications regarding the planned adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” … which already has had its fair share of setbacks.

Over the weekend, seven unions – including U.S. Actors Equity and the Screen Actors Guild – advised their members not to work on “Hobbit” as the film’s producers “have refused to engage performers on union-negotiated agreements,” according to a release. (ComingSoon.net has it in its entirety.)

The statement goes on to say that the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance, which opened an office in New Zealand, has attempted to negotiate with the powers that be, but have made no progress. As a result, the International Federation of Actors requested that all performers refuse work as a show of support for their New Zealand colleagues until union contracts can be drawn up.

Peter Jackson, who still at this point is NOT directing “The Hobbit,” responded to the claims. Again, ComingSoon has the full document, though here is a chunk:

“The Australian Labour Union, the MEAA is using our production The Hobbit in an attempt to widen it’s membership, and power within the New Zealand film industry. As a New Zealand filmmaker, who has nothing to hide or be ashamed about, I’m not going to see this threatening behaviour continue without some form of sensible discussion about the “facts” and “truth” behind their various allegations.

It’s incredibly easy to wave the flag on behalf of workers and target the rich studios. It’s not hard to generate an emotive response, nor is it hard to sway public opinion, since nobody seems to like the facts to get in the way of a good story in these situations.

Behind the claims of exploiting actors who are cast in the “non-Union” Hobbit production, and claims that various high-profile stars will refuse to take part in the films, there are clear agendas at work. As usual with these agendas, they are based on money and power.

I am not a lawyer, nor am I an expert in unions and how they operate – but I like to think I have a degree of common sense, and that’s what I’m basing my observations on.”

It’s an ugly situation, a public airing of dirty laundry that – while important to the hands that shape the movie – shouldn’t affect the finished product. Yet “The Hobbit” has been plagued by so many issues, one has to wonder when Jackson will wave the white flag. It doesn’t look likely, though, as other reports online have suggested “Hobbit” might move out of New Zealand, and is contemplating shooting in Eastern Europe.

More details on this standoff as they emerge.

Follow Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.

Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

Follow us

Breaking Hollywood News   


One Comment

  • September 29, 2010 | Permalink |

    film it in mid wales, near snowdonia, the whole land of middle earth is based on wales, hence the elvish language, even gondor is based on glamorgan. which btw has many many castle’s the biggest one is caerphilly castle. which is surrounded by a moat. mid wales, from brecon beacons to snowdonia are almost untouched by man. its south wales which is populated.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.