May 26, 2017

Peter Jackson admits Warner could move “The Hobbit” out of New Zealand

By Sean O’Connell Is “The Hobbit” ready to say goodbye to New Zealand?

It certainly appears so, as Peter Jackson – who recently confirmed that he would be directing the two-part Tolkien adaptation – released a statement saying Warner Bros. was about to fly down to New Zealand and analyze whether it makes more sense to move to production to another location.

“Next week Warner Brothers are coming down to New Zealand to make arrangements to move the production off-shore,” Jackson said in a statement that was picked up by the Wall Street Journal.

Jackson referenced recent labor disputes, stating that the turmoil has “undermined Warner Brothers’ confidence in New Zealand as a stable employment environment.” The director stated that he would ” continue to fight to keep the film in New Zealand” but admitted that the final decision lies with the studio.

What do you think? Can Jackson film “The Hobbit” anywhere else? Would a move require massive green screen work to replicate New Zealand’s natural terrain? Would it change your opinion of “The Hobbit” at all if it were filmed in, say Eastern Europe?

The production is scheduled to begin in February, so expect a resolution soon.

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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, 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).

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