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Decision on Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” could arrive next week

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Though production on “The Hobbit,” an adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s award-winning novel, remains mired in labor disputes and red ink, a positive break could be on the horizon.

A spokesperson for Peter Jackson was quoted in the New Zealand Herald this morning and said a decision regarding the production staying in the country where Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy was filmed could come as soon as next week.

“Warner Brothers are running financial models about the costs of shooting in a variety of countries,” the spokesperson said. “We expect a decision is still a week or two away.”

This comes on the heels of the news that a separate meeting was conducted between The Screen Production and Development Association, Actors’ Equity, and Council of Trade Unions representatives to ensure that New Zealand remains an attractive location for Hollywood productions. While the meeting wasn’t called for “The Hobbit,” specifically, it is reported that the film was discussed.

Does anyone doubt that this will happen? It all seems like a stall so that more people can dip their hands into what’s sure to be a profitable pot. Expect this situation to be resolved shortly, with Jackson in the director’s chair for two “Hobbit” films.

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